These guys are tight.
Scot Moenck served as an assistant for Jeff Wallace for two years at Iowa City Regina. Wallace was part of Moenck’s wedding party and is the godfather to Moenck’s 7-year-old daughter, Isabella.
“He’s a good friend of mine,” said Moenck, now in his 11th season as head girls’ basketball coach at Maquoketa Valley. “I’ve always had respect for his basketball knowledge.”
The friendship will be placed on pause for about 75 minutes Friday, when No. 1 Regina (23-0) hosts No. 14 Maquoketa Valley (19-4) in a Class 2A regional semifinal.
Tipoff is 7 p.m., and is one of 32 games in the state Friday — 16 in 2A, 16 in 1A. Winners play for state-tournament berths Monday.
Moenck and Wallace met at a basketball clinic 16 years ago when Moenck was at Anamosa and Wallace was in his first stint at Regina. When Moenck decided to step down, Wallace nabbed him for the Regina staff.
“Those were two of the best years of coaching I’ve had,” Wallace said. “I really admire his coaching ability, the way he thinks the game.
“Facing him (Friday), it’s going to be a challenge. I’m not going to lie. I wish I didn’t have to go up against such a good friend.”
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Wallace reclaimed the Regina post after last season, and inherited a wrecking crew. The Regals were state semifinalists last season, Alex Wiese transferred in from Tipton, and the result has been destruction — Regina has outscored its opposition by 32 points per game.
“They’ve got all the pieces to the puzzle,” Moenck said. “Their inside game, their outside game ... they can hurt you so many ways.
“It’s going to be a challenge, but you know what? I think we’re really good, too.”
The Regals haven’t been pushed to the wire yet (their closest decision was 63-50 at Bellevue), and Wallace wonders how they’ll respond when it finally happens.
“In practice, we simulate playing from behind, or being in a close game,” he said. “It’s a challenge I think about, but these kids are winners.”
In other 2A games involving area ranked teams, No. 5 North Linn (22-1) hosts Grundy Center (19-2), and No. 8 Cascade (20-2) entertains Clayton Ridge (18-4).
Class 1A top-ranked Springville (20-2), the defending small-school state champion, hosts Garwin GMG (14-8), No. 2 Turkey Valley (19-2) meets No. 11 West Hancock (19-3) at Charles City, and No. 5 Lansing Kee (16-4) hosts upstart East Buchanan (8-15).
FRIDAY’S CLASS 2A REGIONAL SEMIFINALS
(All games 7 p.m.)
Grundy Center (19-2) at North Linn (22-1)
West Fork (16-6) at Rockford (19-3)
Montezuma (16-6) at Pella Christian (14-8)
Clayton Ridge (18-4) at Cascade (20-2)
Maquoketa Valley (19-4) at Iowa City Regina (23-0)
West Branch (14-8) at Bellevue (16-6)
Pekin (17-4) at Central Decatur (22-0)
Danville (14-9) vs. Sigourney (18-4), at Riverside
FRIDAY’S CLASS 1A REGIONAL SEMIFINALS
(All games 7 p.m.)
Turkey Valley (19-2) vs. West Hancock (19-3), at Charles City
Ackley AGWSR (18-4) at Colo-Nesco (18-4)
East Buchanan (8-15) at Lansing Kee (16-4)
Hudson (3-19) at Janesville (22-0)
Belle Plaine (16-6) at Bellevue Marquette (19-3)
Wayne (12-10) at Lynnville-Sully (20-2)
Lone Tree (18-5) at Easton Valley (14-7)
Seymour (19-2) at Burlington Notre Dame (17-6)
Garwin GMG (14-8) at Springville (20-2)
Grand View Christian (19-4) vs. Murray (19-5), at Saydel
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