116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
DES MOINES - What do you remember, if anything, about the 1993-94 girls' basketball season?
Well, it was the first year in which Iowa was playing exclusively a five-player game. And it was the first year of a four-class system.
It was the year after Larry Niemeyer's Cedar Rapids Jefferson team won a state championship, and the year before Paul James' team won it for Cedar Rapids Washington.
It was also the last time the Metro was shut out of state-tournament qualifiers.
The last time, until now.
That's right. This year's Metro void is the first in 27 years.
You can't call this a bad year for girls' basketball within the Cedar Rapids/Marion area. Five teams posted winning seasons - Washington (13-4), Kennedy (14-9), Marion (14-9), Xavier (10-7) and Linn-Mar (10-9). Prairie was a competitive 8-9.
But still, the Metro's absence is felt at Wells Fargo Arena.
Consider, in four years between 2006 and 2010, four Metro teams advanced. Those salad days including a 3A state championship by Xavier in 2007 and an undefeated 4A title team from Linn-Mar, led by Kiah Stokes, in 2010.
Since then, the Metro banner has been carried most consistently by Xavier and Marion. The Saints won another title in 2013, and the Indians (soon-to-be Mavericks) enjoyed a four-year run from 2016 through 2019 that featured a championship, two runner-up finishes and another semifinal run.
The five 5A programs - Jefferson, Kennedy, Washington, Linn-Mar and Prairie - have combined for one state-tournament win (the Lions reached the semifinals in 2016) in the last 10 years.
Washington is the most likely of those five to break through in 2022. The Warriors return four starters - led by University of Iowa recruit Hannah Stuelke - from a team that dropped a 44-42 regional final to West Des Moines Dowling.
Xavier did not have a senior on its roster, and is a likely preseason top-10 team in 4A.
North Scott is still a force
Grace Boffeli has gone to college, but North Scott hasn't gone away.
The Lancers, two-time defending Class 4A state champions, captured the rubber match with Mississippi Athletic Conference rival DeWitt Central, 59-45, in a quarterfinal game Tuesday afternoon.
'It hasn't been (an) easy (reload),” Lancers Coach T.J. Case said. 'We had a couple of freshmen come in, that we were able to work into the rotation.”
And senior Ashley Fountain moved in from Bettendorf. She had 16 points, as did senior Samantha Scott (the lone returning starter from last year) and sophomore Hattie Hagedorn.
'I told (Fountain) that she was a piece of the puzzle, and she bought into it. They did it collectively, together.”
No. 6 North Scott (16-2) tackles No. 1 Glenwood (20-3) in a semifinal at 6 p.m. Thursday.
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