Thu. notes: Hail to the Tri-Rivers

By Jeff Linder

The Gazette

DES MOINES — Brian O’Donnell was up until 2 o’clock Thursday morning. He wasn’t celebrating the overtime victory his team had pulled out just four hours earlier.

Instead, he had his weary eyes set on a TV, then a computer screen, getting his first glimpse at tonight’s opponent.

Springville (26-1), the defending champion and top-ranked team, faces No. 3 Ackley AGWSR (25-0) for the Class 1A championship at 6.

“We filmed both of their first two games here,” said O’Donnell, the Orioles’ head coach. “We’ve got to figure out a way to slow down their big kids.”

It’s the first game of a 1A-2A double-header that will pique the interest of Tri-Rivers Conference folks. Cascade (24-3) meets third-rated IKM-Manning (25-2) for the 2A crown at 8.

“It’s just awesome,” O’Donnell said. “It says a lot about our conference. I’m so happy for (Cascade Coach) Mike (Sconsa) and those kids. “After we beat them this season, I told my kids that (Cascade) would surprise a lot of people before the season was over.”

O’Donnell is adamant that the Tri-Rivers schedule prepared his team well for the postseason.

“This conference has a little of everything,” he said. “We’ve seen big teams. We’ve seen quick teams.”

And in Cascade, the Orioles have seen one of the stiffest zones around. They’ll see another one tonight: AGWSR allows about 23 points per game, an all-time state best.

“We’re going to have to hit shots. And our defensive boards have to dominate their offensive boards,” O’Donnell said. “If they get second shots, we’re going to be in a severe amount of trouble.”

Call to the Hall

Deb Remmerde, the leading scorer in state five-player history, headlines the 2009 Hall of Fame class, which will be inducted at halftime of tonight’s 1A final.

Remmerde, who led Rock Valley to three championships (one in 2A, two in 1A) from 2001 to 2003, concluded her career with 2,756 and is regarded by many as the best pure shooter ever to play, making at least 54 percent of her 3-pointers in every season.

She’s the state leader in treys for a season (144) and career (353). She missed only 12 free throws in her career, making 95.5 percent of her foul shots.

Remmerde led Northwestern (Iowa) to an NAIA Division II national title in 2008.

She’s joined in this year’s class by Sara Stribe, who scored 2,245 points and led Carroll to two 3A championships, and Linda Lappe, who helped Winfield-Mount Union to a pair of 1A titles and scored 1,987 career points.

The blizzard, 50 years later

The Gladbrook championship teams of 1959 and 1960 will be honored tonight as well, but it wasn’t the champion as much as the circumstances that made the ‘59 tournament so memorable.

While Gladbrook upset Maynard, a blizzard pummeled the state and turned Veterans Auditorium into the site of an all-night sock hop.

During the evening, auditorium officials announced that no one would be allowed to leave Des Moines because of the weather.

Some tried to sleep on the bleachers. Others played cards or danced to record spun by a young disc jockey named Frosty Mitchell, who walked six miles to Vets after his car was stuck in his driveway.

The all-night crowd was estimated at 5,000.



One Response to “Thu. notes: Hail to the Tri-Rivers”

  1. Thu. notes: Hail to the Tri-Rivers | Says:

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