The girls class 5A basketball tournament pairings look very much like the volleyball pairings last fall. If you remember, West was the defending champion but was employing a host of new players, while City High returned much of its lineup and was among the top two or three teams all season. The pairings came out and the two city schools were lumped into the same regional.
On Feb. 16, fifth-ranked City (15-2) plays host to Clinton in its semifinal while West (11-3) plays host to the winner of a game between Bettendorf and Davenport Central. The winners play Feb. 19 at C.R. Prairie for the right to go to the state tournament.
“It didn’t shock us; there were some other options,” West coach B.J. Mayer said. “But we kind of saw a few things in volleyball that made me think that maybe they were going to do that. The nice thing is we’ll be very familiar with each other because we play that last week. Hopefully one of us will get to the state tournament.”
“That’s three times we’d play them,” City coach Bill McTaggart said. “It’s always tough to play somebody three times. All it takes is one game. West High’s been pretty hot. I was hoping we’d get a better draw than that, to be honest with you.”
City’s losses came on the road at Southeast Polk and at West Waterloo, both ranked teams. City won the first meeting this season at West, and the two teams play Feb. 4 at City.
City and West met in the state quarterfinals a year ago with West winning a nail biter by three points. West went on to win the state title.
West beat Bettendorf last week 42-40 letting a big lead slip away late in the game.
In Class 2A West Branch, Regina and Highland are in a regional with unbeaten and No. 3-ranked North Linn. The Huskies play host to the winner of Wapello and West Burlington, while Regina plays host to the Louisa-Muscatine/Durant winner. The winners face off in the semifinals. Regina could get two home games.
“It’s like a mini-conference tournament with a juggernaut thrown in,” Regina coach Clark Anderson said.
In a scheduling oddity, Regina could face Durant three times in its last four games.
“That’s obviously not quite desirable, but either way we have home-court advantage so we like that,” Anderson said. “We’ve talked about making it to state, and that’s something we’re still shooting for, obviously.”
The Bears are home against either Tipton or Wilton with the winner likely facing North Linn in the semifinal at Coggon. The regional final is at Prairie.
Clear Creek Amana earned a home game against Grinnell to begin 4A play, but the winner has to travel to second-ranked Benton.
Solon begins 4A play at Marion with the winner having to play at No. 6 Cedar Rapids Xavier.
In Class 3A, No. 5 Mid-Prairie shares a regional with No. 9 Mediapolis, but the two wouldn’t meet until the final at Riverside. The Golden Hawks play host to South Tama, and the winner plays either East Marshall or Collins-Maxwell-Baxter at Wellman. West Liberty opens at Mediapolis in the other bracket. The winner likely faces Williamsburg at Mediapolis.
In Class 1A, Lone Tree’s girls could have two home games in a row. The Lions start with Cedar Valley Christian and with a win would play host to the Lisbon/Springville winner. Iowa Mennonite is in a different regional and begins play at Keota with the winner playing Belle Plaine or Sigourney.