116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
Home / Sports / Iowa Prep Sports / High School Basketball
Iowa high school girls’ state basketball 2023: Brackets, predictions, top players and more
All five reigning champions are back to defend their crowns
DES MOINES — All five reigning champions are back in the field at the 103rd Iowa high school girls’ state basketball tournament.
Among the defending champions is Cedar Rapids Xavier, which won the 4A title. The Saints open with Sioux City Heelan, the team they vanquished in the championship game last season.
Making its 15th trip in its 25-year history, Xavier is among eight qualifiers from the Gazette area.
Johnston (5A), Estherville-Lincoln Central (3A), Dike-New Hartford (2A) and Algona Garrigan (1A) also are pursuing title repeats. DNH is seeking its third consecutive crown.
Action begins at 10 a.m. Monday at Wells Fargo Arena with a meeting of CIML combatants Johnston and Southeast Polk. Five of the eight big-school qualifiers hail from the CIML
The following are thumbnails on each of the five classes:
Monday, 10 a.m.— No. 2 Johnston (22-1) vs. No. 7 Southeast Polk (15-7)
Monday, 11:45 a.m. — No. 3 Waterloo West (22-1) vs. No. 6 Ankeny Centennial (17-6)
Monday, 1:30 p.m. — No. 1 Pleasant Valley (23-0) vs. No. 9 West Des Moines Valley (15-8)
Monday, 3:15 p.m. — No. 4 West Des Moines Dowling (19-4) vs. No. 5 Davenport North (21-2)
Thursday, 10 a.m. — Top bracket
Thursday, 11:45 a.m. — Bottom bracket
Friday, 6 p.m. — Semifinal winners
Despite a No. 2 ranking, Johnston is the favorite to capture its third 5A championship in the last four years. The Dragons had a 42-game winning streak snapped by West Des Moines Dowling on Jan. 20, but responded with six straight wins. At 66.1 points per game, the Dragons are the highest-scoring team in the 5A field. The frightening thing is, their top three scorers consist of two juniors and a freshman.
No area teams qualified. Linn-Mar came close, dropping a 35-32 decision to Centennial in the regional finals.
THREE PLAYERS TO WATCH
Halle Vice, 6-2, sr., Pleasant Valley — Averages 21.0 points, 3.5 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game. Shoots 58.4 percent from the field, including 38.5 percent from 3-point range. Marquette University signee.
Sahara Williams, 5-11, sr., Waterloo West — Averages 21.2 points, 10.0 rebounds, 5.2 assists and 4.0 steals per game. Shoots 55.0 percent from the field. MVC Valley Division player of the year. University of Oklahoma signee.
Ava Zediker, 5-10, soph., West Des Moines Dowling — Averages 19.7 points, 5.0 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game. Shoots 46.8 percent from the field, including 42.4 percent from 3-point range, and 86.7 percent from the free-throw line.
Johnston 65, Southeast Polk 56
Waterloo West 50, Ankeny Centennial 48
Pleasant Valley 43, West Des Moines Valley 41
West Des Moines Dowling 52, Davenport North 39
Johnston 53, Waterloo West 45
West Des Moines Dowling 47, Pleasant Valley 41
Johnston 54, West Des Moines Dowling 52
Tuesday, 11:45 a.m. — No. 1 Dallas Center-Grimes (20-3) vs. Glenwood (16-8)
Tuesday, 1:30 p.m. — No. 4 Ballard (18-3) vs. No. 5 Decorah (21-2)
Tuesday, 3:15 p.m. — No. 2 North Polk (21-2) vs. No. 7 Clear Creek Amana (18-4)
Tuesday, 5 p.m. — No. 3 Sioux City Heelan (22-2) vs. No. 6 Cedar Rapids Xavier (16-7)
Thursday, 5 p.m. — Top bracket
Thursday, 6:45 p.m. — Bottom bracket
Saturday, 2:30 p.m. — Semifinal winners
This class has no clear favorite. Dallas Center-Grimes carries the No. 1 tag into the tournament for the second straight year. The Mustangs have won nine straight games and return two key starters (senior Emma Miner and junior Vanessa Bickford) from a team that reached the semifinals before losing in triple-overtime to eventual champion Cedar Rapids Xavier.
Decorah’s three previous appearances were highlighted by semifinal finishes in 2000 and 2007. The Northeast Iowa Conference champions average a robust 63.2 points per game, second most in the 4A field. The Vikings have an elite backcourt in senior Bryar Duwe and junior Yazmeen Whitsitt, who combine for 37.7 points per game.
Defending champion Cedar Rapids Xavier is in the field for the 15th time and has won five championships. If the Saints repeat, it will be the first time they accomplished that feat. Senior Kyla Mason and sophomore Libby Fandel were key players in that championship run, with Fandel earning all-tournament captaincy.
Clear Creek Amana is making its second appearance; the other was a one-and-done deal in 2020. The Clippers were Wamac Conference West Division runners-up and have three players (juniors Ava Locklear and Bliss Beck and freshman Averie Lower) in double figures. Beck is a Drake volleyball commit.
THREE PLAYERS TO WATCH
Jenna Hopp, 6-0, sr., Glenwood — Averages 24.2 points, 12.5 rebounds and 4.6 steals per game. Shoots 44.4 percent from the field, 71.2 percent from the line. South Dakota State University signee.
Kyla Mason, 5-11, sr., Cedar Rapids Xavier — Averages 17.0 points and 7.0 rebounds per game. Shoots 64.6 percent from the floor, 73.9 percent from the line. Central College recruit.
Bryar Duwe, 5-6, sr., Decorah — Averages 17.9 points, 4.8 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 2.4 steals per game. Shoots 44.5 percent from the field, 77.3 percent from the line. Truman State University signee.
Dallas Center-Grimes 58, Glenwood 41
Ballard 49, Decorah 42
North Polk 50, Clear Creek Amana 44
Sioux City Heelan 53, Cedar Rapids Xavier 49
Dallas Center-Grimes 43, Ballard 41
Sioux City Heelan 51, North Polk 48
Sioux City Heelan 47, Dallas Center-Grimes 44
Monday, 5 p.m. — No. 1 Estherville-Lincoln Central (24-0) vs. No. 10 Vinton-Shellsburg (17-7)
Monday, 6:45 p.m. — No. 4 Benton Community (21-3) vs. No. 5 Des Moines Christian (21-3)
Monday, 8:30 p.m. — No. 2 Solon (22-2) vs. No. 7 Dubuque Wahlert (18-6)
Tuesday, 10 a.m. — No. 3 West Marshall (23-1) vs. No. 6 Sioux Center (18-5)
Thursday, 1:30 p.m. — Top bracket
Thursday, 3:15 p.m. — Bottom bracket
Friday, 8 p.m. — Semifinal winners
Top-ranked and defending-champion Estherville-Lincoln Central is on a 38-game win streak, and on paper, appears to be the class of the field. The Midgets score a best-in-3A 65.1 points per game, allow just 33.5 points per contest and won all three of their postseason games by more than 40 points. ELC owns two wins over perennial 1A power Newell-Fonda.
After 17 years away, Solon returns to the big stage. Both of the Spartans’ losses came against 4A state qualifiers (North Polk and Clear Creek Amana). The Spartans went 8-0 in the Wamac Conference East Division. Kobi Lietz was the regional-final star, hitting 6 of 7 tries from 3-point range in a 58-44 win over Mount Vernon, which it narrowly beat twice in the regular season.
Wamac Conference West Division champion Benton Community has qualified for the second straight year; the Bobcats went out in the 4A quarterfinals last year. Four starters are back, including senior Jenna Twedt. More than half of the Bobcats’ field-goal attempts have been from 3-point range. Benton avenged a regular-season loss to West Liberty in the regional finals, 53-44.
Vinton-Shellsburg is back for the first time since 1999. The Vikettes have a veteran crew, and will start five seniors. In the four years before this senior class arrived, the program won 11 games. In the four years since, 62. The Vikettes pulled a minor upset in the regional finals, 52-43, over No. 6 Grinnell.
THREE PLAYERS TO WATCH
Callie Levin, 5-9, jr., Solon — Averages 18.5 points, 5.8 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 3.8 steals per game. Shoots 42.4 percent from the field and 76.1 percent from the line. University of Iowa commit.
Haylee Stokes, 5-6, soph., Estherville-Lincoln Central — Averages 21.0 points, 5.9 assists and 5.1 steals per game. Shoots 51.2 percent from the field, 73.6 percent from the line.
Jenna Twedt, 5-9, sr., Benton Community — Averages 20.3 points, 3.7 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game. Shoots 43.1 percent from the field, 40.4 percent from 3-point range and 85.6 percent from the line. Kirkwood Community College recruit.
Estherville ELC 58, Vinton-Shellsburg 40
Benton Community 48, Des Moines Christian 39
Solon 50, Dubuque Wahlert 49
Sioux Center 55, West Marshall 46
Estherville ELC 50, Benton Community 40
Sioux Center 51, Solon 48
Estherville ELC 57, Sioux Center 44
Tuesday, 6:45 p.m. — No. 1 Dike-New Hartford (23-1) vs. No. 15 Aplington-Parkersburg (20-4)
Tuesday, 8:30 p.m. — No. 4 Sibley-Ocheyedan (21-3) vs. No. 5 Iowa City Regina (21-4)
Wednesday, 10 a.m. — No. 2 Central Lyon (22-0) vs. No. 9 Panorama (22-2)
Wednesday, 11:45 a.m. — No. 3 Eddyville EBF (24-0) vs. No. 8 Pocahontas Area (20-4)
Friday, 10 a.m. — Top bracket
Friday, 11:45 a.m. — Bottom bracket
Saturday, 4:45 p.m. — Semifinal winners
Two-time defending-champion Dike-New Hartford wears the favorite’s tag again, though it’s not a prohibitive favorite. The Wolverines stormed through regional play by scores of 74-31, 59-28 and 67-28, and are tops in 2A in both offense (67.4 points per game) and defense (29.0 ppg allowed). Payton Petersen leads a cast of four players averaging in double figures.
Iowa City Regina has qualified for the ninth time, the second in a row under Coach Mary Rogers. Three starters are back from last year’s squad — sophomore Morgan Miller, junior Alli Clark and senior Grace Gaarde. Miller’s 17.3 points per game lead an attack that nets 62.4 per game collectively. Three of the Regals’ four losses came to qualifiers in other classes.
THREE PLAYERS TO WATCH
Madison Brouwer, 6-0, sr., Sibley-Ocheyedan — Averages 18.4 points, 10.9 rebounds and 3.4 steals per game. Shoots 57.6 percent from the field, 78.6 percent from the line. Committed to run track and cross country at the University of South Dakota.
Addison Klosterbuer, 5-11, sr., Central Lyon — Averages 19.9 points and 5.3 rebounds per game. Shoots 48.0 percent from the field, 44.1 percent from 3-point range and 79.0 percent from the line. Signed with the University of South Dakota.
Payton Petersen, 6-0, jr., Dike-New Hartford — Averages 16.0 points and 10.1 rebounds per game. Shoots 56.1 percent from the field. Volleyball commit with the University of Louisville.
Dike-New Hartford 59, Aplington-Parkersburg 35
Sibley-Ocheyedan 56, Iowa City Regina 49
Central Lyon 53, Panorama 41
Pocahontas Area 50, Eddyville EBF 46
Dike-New Hartford 48, Sibley-Ocheyedan 44
Central Lyon 54, Pocahontas Area 42
Dike-New Hartford 49, Central Lyon 46
Wednesday, 1:30 p.m. — No. 1 Algona Garrigan (23-1) vs. No. 14 Martensdale-St. Marys (21-4)
Wednesday, 3:15 p.m. — No. 4 Remsen St. Mary’s (23-1) vs. No. 5 West Fork (24-0)
Wednesday, 5 p.m. — No. 2 Newell-Fonda (22-2) vs. No. 9 Woodbine (23-2)
Wednesday, 6:45 p.m. — No. 3 North Linn (22-1) vs. No. 8 Winfield-Mount Union (22-1)
Friday, 1:30 p.m. — Top bracket
Friday, 3:15 p.m. — Bottom bracket
Saturday, 7 p.m. — Semifinal winners
Defending-champ Algona Garrigan has rattled off 44 straight wins against Iowa competition, including a convincing road win over 2A No. 1 Dike-New Hartford. Behind Miss Iowa Basketball 2023 favorite Audi Crooks, the Golden Bears lead the state (all classes) at 76.7 points per game. Garrigan was the runner-up in 2020 and 2021 before breaking through last year.
A state qualifier for the fifth straight year (and the eighth time in the last 10 years), North Linn is one of the most established programs in the state. The Lynx are experiencing their 13th consecutive season with 20-plus wins, and the pinnacle came in 2020, when they won the 2A championship. Four players are averaging at least 8.7 points per game, led by junior Kamryn Kurt (17.0).
THREE PLAYERS TO WATCH
Audi Crooks, 6-3, sr., Algona Garrigan — Ranks No. 4 all-time in Iowa in career points (2,587) and career rebounds (1,287). Averages 32.3 points and 14.4 rebounds per game this season, shooting 74.8 percent from the field. Signed to play at Iowa State University.
Molly Joyce, 5-7, jr., Algona Garrigan — Averages 16.5 points and 7.2 assists per game. Shoots 44.0 percent from the field, including 32.7 percent from 3-point range, and 77.3 percent from the line. Committed to Truman State University.
Kamryn Kurt, 5-6, jr., North Linn — Averages 17.0 points, 4.3 assists and 4.1 rebounds per game. Shoots 54.8 percent from the field, including 41.0 percent from 3-point range.
Algona Garrigan 63, Martensdale-St. Marys 38
West Fork 45, Remsen St. Mary’s 40
Newell-Fonda 63, Woodbine 44
North Linn 61, Winfield-Mount Union 40
Algona Garrigan 55, West Fork 42
North Linn 55, Newell-Fonda 54
Algona Garrigan 55, North Linn 48