The postseason is about surviving and advancing.
Stu Ordman is fine with the advancing part, but the first-year Regina coach would prefer to find a more comfortable way to move on.
Regina (19-4) survived a scare from River Valley Conference foe Wilton in the Class 2A, District 9 final on Tuesdayfor a 45-42 win.
Ordman hopes Saturday’s Class 2A, Substate 5 final against West Burlington (14-10) is more about advancing to the state tournament than it is about surviving.
“When it comes to tournament time you want to survive and advance,” Ordman said of the win over Wilton. “But its fine with me if that’s the only game that happens and in and the next four we take care of business.”
If Regina can take care of business against West Burlinton on Saturday at 7 p.m. at Muscatine, the Regals will snap a 13-year run without a state tournament berth.
Standing in the way of Regina’s first state tournament appearance since 2002 is a West Burlington squad that is as hot as any in Class 2A.
The Falcons started the season 1-4 and were 6-9 following a 20-point loss to Van Buren on Jan. 23.
Since then, West Burlington has won eight of nine games and bring a seven-game winning streak into Saturday’s substate final.
“They have won seven in a row, they are quite athletic and they are aggressive,” Ordman said. “They hit the boards really hard, they drive the ball well and they play hard.”
Regina, meanwhile, has rebounded from a three-game losing skid late in the regular season with a pair of postseason wins over RVC foes.
In its postseason opener Regina knocked off West Branch in the third meeting of the season between the two rivals.
Regina then downed Wilton for the third time in the District 9 final on Tuesday.
Now the Regals will get their first postseason look at an unfamiliar opponent.
West Burlington has three players averaging between 10 and 12.5 points per game, led by 6-foot-1 senior Da’Shon Johnson.
“We are going to have to shut down the favorite things that they like to do and usually if you can take away A and B and a team has to go to C or D its tough,” Ordman said. “So that’s a challenge for us.”
The state tournament and substate finals are new to Regina, but they certainly aren’t to Ordman who led Cedar Rapids Jefferson to the Class 4A tournament four times.
Ordman has liked what he’s seen from his team heading into Saturday’s substate final.
“The focus is good,” Ordman said. “We’ll take care of what we need to take care of.”
Reach Ryan Murken at 319-339-7369 or email@example.com and follow him on Twitter at @rmmurken.com.
Class 2A, Substate 5 Final
West Burlington (14-10) vs. Regina (19-4)
• When: Saturday, 7 p.m.
• Where: Muscatine High School
• Stat Leaders: West Burlington – Da’Shon Johnson 12.5 ppg, 4.8 rpg; Clay Siefken 10 ppg, 5.8 rpg; Niko Selmon 10.7 ppg, 6.7 rpg. Regina – Drew Cook 22.7 ppg, 8.5 rpg; Nathan Stenger 15.4 ppg, 4.9 rpg; Nick Phillips 9.3 ppg, 3.6 apg.
• About the Falcons: West Burlington opened the season 1-4 and was 6-9 following a three-game losing streak in late January.
The Falcons have rebounded to win seven straight including three postseason games and are on the verge of their first state tournament appearance.
• About the Regals: Regina has responded from a three-game losing skid late in the season to knock off a pair of conference rivals in Class 2A, District 9.
Drew Cook scored a career-high 40 points in a district semifinal win over West Branch, and Regina survived some frosty shooting in the district final against Wilton to reach the substate final.
• What to watch: West Burlington can score with just about anyone. The Falcons average 63.3 points per game, have five players that average at least seven points a game and had scored 80 or more points five times this season.
The key for the Falcons is on the defensive end.
West Burlington ranks toward the bottom of Class 2A in points allowed, giving up better than 60 points per game and faces a Regina team that features the sixth highest scorer in 2A in senior Drew Cook (22.7 ppg).