Prep Basketball

Beckman is blazing as it approaches 2A regional-quarterfinal matchup with Cascade

Blazers collected 23 steals in a first-round romp

Cascade girls' basketball players head to the bench during a timeout in the second quarter of a game against West Libert
Cascade girls’ basketball players head to the bench during a timeout in the second quarter of a game against West Liberty on Dec. 22. The Cougars host Dyersville Beckman in a Class 2A regional quarterfinal at 7 p.m. Tuesday. (Cliff Jette/Freelance for The Gazette)

Dyersville Beckman is a girls’ basketball paradox.

The Blazers don’t enjoy much depth; Coach Chad Thomason generally employs a rotation of six players.

And yet, they don’t sit in a shell and rest on defense.

“Defense has been carrying us,” Thomason said. “We force a lot of steals and are able to get into a faster tempo game.”

Battle-tested in the Wamac Conference and one of the hottest area Class 2A teams, Beckman (11-10) takes a five-game winning streak into Tuesday’s most intriguing area postseason game of the night. The Blazers travel to 12th-ranked Cascade (15-6) for a 2A regional quarterfinal.

Tipoff is 7 p.m.

“They’ve been playing really well,” Cascade interim coach Ernie Bolibaugh said of the Blazers. “They’ve got a couple of really nice wins lately (against Solon and Center Point-Urbana.

“It’s going to be tough.”

Beckman has collected more than 13 steals per game this season, and swiped 23 — nine by Lauren Osterhaus — in a 45-9 first-round romp over South Winneshiek on Saturday (it was 41-2 at halftime).

“Our three guards, we don’t sub unless they get in foul trouble,” Thomason said. “We rotate our three posts. And we use our timeouts for a rest if we get winded.”

The Cougars handled the Blazers, 47-35, Dec. 19.

“We did a good job defensively,” Bolibaugh said. “They didn’t have a good shooting night, and we got some baskets in transition.

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“We’ve got to control their shooters again, especially (senior Kennedy Arens, who averages 15.3 points per game). They’re a strong, physical team, so we’ve got to rebound.”

A longtime assistant to Coach Mike Sconsa, Bolibaugh was elevated when Sconsa suffered a stroke in November.

The area’s undisputed top three 2A teams hop into postseason action Tuesday: No. 1 Maquoketa Valley (20-0) hosts Starmont (4-18), No. 3 West Branch (17-1) welcomes Danville (7-13), and No. 5 North Linn (18-2) entertains Hudson (11-11).

North Linn is the defending 2A state champion.

In 1A, No. 6 Montezuma is the headliner of a Region 6 bracket that features four ranked squads. The Bravettes (19-1) carry a 19-game win streak into their home contest with Iowa Valley (13-8).

Montezuma is pursuing its fourth consecutive state tournament.

No. 8 Springville (18-4) hosts Lisbon (10-9).

Tuesday's Class 2A regional quarterfinals

(All games, 7 p.m.)

Region 1

Starmont (4-18) at Maquoketa Valley (20-0)

MFL MarMac (15-6) at Jesup (13-8)

Dyersville Beckman (11-10) at Cascade (15-6)

Clayton Ridge (9-10) at Sumner-Fredericksburg (16-6)

Region 3

Danville (7-13) at West Branch (17-1)

Pekin (9-9) at Pella Christian (8-12)

Louisa-Muscatine (9-6) at Van Buren County (14-5)

Iowa City Regina (10-7) at Mediapolis (10-7)

Region 4

Hudson (11-11) at North Linn (18-2)

Waterloo Columbus (10-11) at Alburnett (12-8)

Northeast (7-13) at Bellevue (18-1)

Durant (3-17) at Wilton (11-10)

Tuesday's Class 1A regional quarterfinals

(All games, 7 p.m.)

Region 3

Wapsie Valley (5-17) at Saint Ansgar (19-1)

West Central (9-11) at Nashua-Plainfield (11-10)

Central City (12-9) at Turkey Valley (17-5)

Lansing Kee (11-10) vs. East Buchanan (12-9), at Elkader

Region 5

Lisbon (10-9) at Springville (18-4)

Bellevue Marquette (8-8) at Clinton Prince of Peace (15-4)

Calamus-Wheatland (12-8) at Winfield-Mount Union (17-0)

WACO (8-12) at Burlington Notre Dame (17-1)

Region 6

Iowa Valley (13-8) at Montezuma (19-1)

Lynnville-Sully (17-3) at North Mahaska (14-3)

HLV (10-10) at Baxter (19-2)

Belle Plaine (15-7) at Collins-Maxwell (21-1)

Region 8

Murray (12-9) at Exira-EHK (20-0)

Lamoni (13-5) at Stanton (19-2)

Moravia (14-8) at Lenox (18-3)

Wayne (14-7) at Sigourney (17-5)

Comments: (319) 368-8857; jeff.linder@thegazette.com

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