MARION - As the prep volleyball season nears the midway point, Cedar Rapids Xavier identified a vital ingredient if the Saints are to retain their No. 1 ranking in Class 4A.
Now is the time to turn up the defense.
The top-ranked Saints s ... »
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DES MOINES — Games of area interest Friday at the girls’ state basketball tournament:
No. 6 Cedar Rapids Xavier (18-6) vs. No. 7 North Scott (19-5)
Time: 10 a.m.
Coaches: Tom Lilly is in his 32nd year of coaching and owns a 524-235 mark, including 336-133 in 19 years at Xavier, where he has won four championships. T.J. Case has a 72-22 mark in four years at North Scott.
Top players: Lexi Noonan (5-10, sr.) paces a balanced Xavier attack at 14.3 points per game. Kylie Brown (5-11, sr.) adds 7.7 ppg, Kiana Stanek (5-2, sr.) 7.6. UNI recruit Karli Rucker (sr.) scores at a 13.1-point clip for North Scott. Rylie Rucker (soph.) adds 8.5 ppg.
How they got here: Stanek scored 22 points as Xavier fought off No. 3 Grinnell, 60-55, in the first round. North Scott whipped No. 2 Nevada, 57-27.
BC Moore computer projection: Xavier by 4.
No. 1 Marion (23-1) vs. No. 4 Pella (20-4)
Time: 11:45 a.m.
Coaches: Corby Laube is in his 14th year coaching at Marion, including his fourth with the girls’ program. Combined, he has a record of 198-118. Jerod Garland is 137-49 in eight seasons at Pella.
Top players: Chloe Rice (5-10, jr.) is a Saint Louis commit and leads Marion at 15.4 points per game. Kayba Laube (5-9, fr.) adds 14.3 points per contest. Pella is led by Kiara Bradley (5-11, sr.) at 12.2 points and 7.1 rebounds per game. Katie Vander Molen (5-9, sr.) and reserve Emily Holterhaus (6-1, soph.) add 11.3 and 11.1 points per game, respectively.
How they got here: Marion defeated No. 14 Boone in first round, 46-38. Pella was a 47-43 winner over No. 5 Lewis Central.
BC Moore computer projection: Marion by 1.
No. 3 Iowa City West (21-3) vs. No. 2 West Des Moines Valley (22-2)
Time: 3:15 p.m.
Coaches: B.J. Mayer earned his 300th career win recently and stands at 303-145 in 19 years. He is 175-62 in 10 seasons at West. Josef Sigrist is 120-47 in seven years, 97-22 in five seasons at Valley.
Top players: Logan Cook (6-1, jr.) averages 15.0 points and 6.2 rebounds per game for West. Creighton recruit Rachael Saunders (5-8, jr.) adds 12.8 ppg but is highly questionable after suffering a knee injury in the quarterfinals. Valley is full of talent, led by Zoe Young (5-10, soph.), who averages 14.3 points and 4.7 assists per game. Drake signee Hannah Fuller (5-8, sr.) adds 13.6 ppg, Jackie Feldt (5-10, sr.) 13.0.
How they got here: West survived the loss of Saunders in the first period of the first round, defeating No. 6 Waukee, 40-38, on Cailyn Morgan’s late bucket. Valley routed No. 7 West Des Moines Dowling, 87-64.
BC Moore computer projection: Valley by 5.
No. 1 Springville (24-2) vs. No. 2 Turkey Valley (23-2)
Time: 6 p.m.
Coaches: Nate Sanderson is 111-59 in seven years at Springville, 180-156 in 15 years overall. He has the Orioles in the finals for the third straight year and led them to the 2016 1A title. Carletta Nymeyer and Dan Stepan share coaching duties for Turkey Valley. Nymeyer is in her fourth year and owns an 85-15 record, Stepan is 89-31 in five years.
Top players: All-staters Rylee Menster (5-6, jr.) and Mikayla Nachazel (5-11, jr.) fuel the Orioles. They average 18.2 and 18.0 points per game, and both already have more than 1,000 in their career. Shelby Reicks (5-10, sr.) does a little bit of everything for Turkey Valley, and does it well. She averages 14.3 points, 5.7 assists and 5.8 steals per game. Morgen Kuennen (5-11, sr.) adds 11.5 points and 5.1 rebounds per game.
How they got here: Springville advanced with two convincing wins: 56-16 over No. 12 Burlington Notre Dame and 61-43 over No. 7 Kingsley-Pierson. Turkey Valley, meanwhile had a pair of tight wins — 60-58 over No. 9 Janesville and 48-46 in overtime against No. 3 Exira-EHK.
BC Moore computer projection: Springville by 11.
FRIDAY'S OTHER GAMES
Class 5A semifinal: No. 1 Indianola (24-0) vs. No. 5 Cedar Falls (22-2), 1:30 p.m.
Class 2A championship: No. 2 Treynor (27-0) vs. No. 4 Western Christian (24-2), 8 p.m.