116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
CEDAR RAPIDS — There’s a sprinkling of newcomers at the 18th rendition of Rivalry Saturday.
And no shortage of excellence.
Twelve of the 16 girls’ basketball teams in attendance are listed in the Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union’s preseason rankings.
Saturday’s eight-game event opens at 9:15 a.m. at Johnson Hall on the Kirkwood Community College campus.
“It’s going to be another good one,” said event director Scot Moenck, coach at Maquoketa Valley.
The highlight is at 5:20 p.m., when Cedar Rapids Xavier and Sioux City Heelan collide in a rematch of last year’s Class 4A state championship game.
Xavier won it, 54-40. Heelan enters the new season at No. 1 in 4A; the Saints are No. 2.
“That was a good one last year,” Moenck said. “It’s two storied programs with two great coaches.”
One of those coaches — Xavier’s Tom Lilly — can earn win No. 600 with a victory. He earned his 599th Tuesday, 56-46 over Davenport Assumption.
Heelan is one of five Rivalry Saturday newcomers. The others are Iowa City Liberty and Ankeny Centennial (they play each other at 2 p.m.) and West Liberty and Newell-Fonda (slotted for 3:35).
“Newell-Fonda is a team we’ve been wanting to get for a long time,” Moenck said. “Any time you get a team like that to play on our side of the state, it’s a bonus.”
Cedar Rapids Kennedy and Mount Vernon tip things off at 9:15, then it’s Maquoketa Valley and Elkader Central at 10:50.
Moenck is back with the Wildcats after taking a one-year hiatus. He led the 2021 team to a 2A runner-up finish.
“It’s easier to run this event when you’re not coaching, but this year is going well,” he said. “It’s nothing different from usual; the kids are great.
“We’ll have our hands full; Central is good, and we are young.”
The strength from the Wamac Conference West Division will be on display: Clear Creek Amana and Williamsburg collide at 12:25, Vinton-Shellsburg takes on North Linn at 6:55 and Benton Community meets Center Point-Urbana in the finale at 8:30.
Rivalry Saturday XVIII
Saturday, at Kirkwood Community College
9:15 a.m. — Cedar Rapids Kennedy vs. Mount Vernon
10:50 a.m. — 1A No. 9 Elkader Central vs. Maquoketa Valley
12:25 p.m. — 4A No. 8 Clear Creek Amana vs. Williamsburg
2 p.m. — 5A No. 3 Ankeny Centennial vs. 5A No. 13 Iowa City Liberty
3:35 p.m. — 3A No. 6 West Liberty vs. 1A No. 2 Newell-Fonda
5:20 p.m. — 4A No. 1 Sioux City Heelan vs. 4A No. 2 Cedar Rapids Xavier
6:55 p.m. — 3A No. 7 Vinton-Shellsburg vs. 1A No. 3 North Linn
8:30 p.m. — 3A No. 5 Benton Community vs. 3A No. 8 Center Point-Urbana