Prep Basketball

Girls' basketball notes: Maquoketa Valley is the area's last remaining unbeaten

Wildcats carry a 12-0 record, yet there's plenty of room for growth

Maquoketa Valley girls' basketball coach Scot Moenck talks to his players during practice Nov. 10. The Wildcats are the
Maquoketa Valley girls’ basketball coach Scot Moenck talks to his players during practice Nov. 10. The Wildcats are the area’s lone remaining unbeaten at 12-0. (Andy Abeyta/The Gazette)

In the world of Class 2A girls’ basketball, Maquoketa Valley is ranked No. 1.

On the list of area unbeatens, the Wildcats are the one and only.

At 12-0 heading into Thursday’s scheduled game at Monticello, Maquoketa Valley is the last area unblemished team standing. But Coach Scot Moenck said a perfect record does not make a perfect team.

“There’s still a lot of room to get better, and the kids know it,” Moenck said. “If we were playing our best ball of the season right now, we’d be in trouble.”

High expectations and a lofty ranking generally attract a target. Maquoketa Valley hasn’t been blowing many teams out; seven games have been decided by 20 points or less.

“Our league is a lot deeper than it’s been,” Moenck said, “There are so many teams good enough to scare you.”

Moenck hit a career milestone in Tuesday’s 49-38 win over Springville; he is 300-104 in 18 seasons overall, 261-76 in 15 years at Maquoketa Valley.

The senior trio of Taya Tucker (15.6 points per game), Emerson Whittenbaugh (14.1) and Ella Imler (12.4) has been as productive as expected. Now, Moenck said, the “role players (like Carissa Sabers, Kylie Chesnut, Kennedy Rausch and Haley Ronnebaum) are playing a lot better.”

Maquoketa Valley’s constant has been defense. The Wildcats are yielding 28.2 points per game, the second-best rate in 2A.

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“We defend well for the most part,” Moenck said. “All around, we’re great at nothing, but we’re good at a lot of things.”

Defensive Decorah

No, the competition level hasn’t been high. But it’s still worth noting that Decorah has allowed 71 points — an average of 17.8 per game — in its four games since the holiday break.

The Vikings (8-2, 5-1 Northeast Iowa Conference) have picked up January wins against Crestwood (65-16), Charles City (56-20), South Winneshiek (52-17) and Oelwein (65-18).

Decorah faces a Northeast Iowa Conference showdown Friday at Waverly-Shell Rock (9-2, 5-0).

Ally Disterhoft gets call to the Hall

Ally Disterhoft, who led Iowa City West to a state championship in 2012 and was Miss Iowa Basketball in 2013, highlights the 2021 Iowa Girls Basketball Hall of Fame class.

Disterhoft went on to score more than 2,000 points at the University of Iowa and was on the Hawkeyes’ Sweet 16 team of 2015.

Kathleen Olson (Waukee, 1985) and Jessie Pauley (OABCIG, 2012) also will be honored. The ceremony will be as part of the state tournament, March 6.

An eye on the postseason

According to IGHSAU assistant director Gary Ross, postseason pairings are likely to be released Feb. 4 for Class 1A, Class 2A and Class 3A, and Feb. 11 for 4A and 5A.

Regionals begins Feb. 11 in 1A, Feb. 13 in 2A and 3A, Feb. 17 in 4A and 5A.

The state tournament is March 1-6 at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines.

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

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