Xavier basketball teams ending seasons at state tournament

HS journalism: Girls' team plays tonight, boys are up next week

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CEDAR RAPIDS — It’s postseason time and Cedar Rapids Xavier’s basketball teams have been preparing for this all season.

The Saints have worked hard and built team chemistry and now get a chance to see it all paid off.

Both teams have advanced to the state tournament.

The girls’ team, which stands 17-6, meets Grinnell tonight at 8:30 in a Class 3A quarterfinal at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines. The boys’ knocked off Dubuque Wahlert, 58-39, in a 3A substate final on Monday and will defend its state title next week in Des Moines.

The boys’ team stands 13-11.

“We’ve worked hard throughout the season knowing that the postseason is the most important time,” senior Nolan Butkowski said before the substate final. “We’ve always had our sights set on that. I feel good as we have started clicking as a team on the court. We have always been close, but recently we’ve been able to start playing more as a team and trusting in each other.”

The girls’ team is on an 11-game winning streak.

“We’ve been practicing harder and learning new plays that other teams haven’t seen yet,” sophomore post Emily Jasper said before heading to state. “We feel confident and we are really excited to see how far the team can go.

“We have gotten a lot closer as a team since the beginning of the season and that really helps us on the court.”

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