Prep Basketball

Monticello takes a full head of steam into girls' basketball regionals

Panthers have won 7 straight, and are part of a competitive 3A region

Monticello Coach Donnie Kremer celebrates with the team after a state-tournament win in 2018. The Panthers open Class 3A
Monticello Coach Donnie Kremer celebrates with the team after a state-tournament win in 2018. The Panthers open Class 3A regional play Saturday at home against Camanche. (Liz Martin/The Gazette)

The area is full of quality Class 3A girls’ basketball teams.

At this time, Monticello is playing as well as any of them.

“We’re starting to play really good basketball,” Panthers Coach Donnie Kremer said. “The kids are seeing each other really well on the floor, and we’re playing good defense when we have to.”

The result is a seven-game winning streak, which includes victories over Iowa City Regina, West Liberty, Cascade and Benton Community. That’s quite a recent resume.

Newcomers to the 3A rankings at No. 15, the Panthers (15-5) step into the postseason Saturday, with a 3A regional quarterfinal at home against Camanche (3-17).

Six area teams are ranked in the final 3A ratings, and all are heavily favored to advance Saturday.

No. 9 West Liberty (14-5) hosts Eddyville EBF (8-13), No. 10 Center Point-Urbana (14-6) welcomes Anamosa (3-11), No. 12 Solon (15-5) entertains Tipton (6-13), No. 13 Vinton-Shellsburg (17-4) hosts Mount Vernon (1-19) and No. 14 Waukon (16-4) welcomes Crestwood (5-16).

Game times vary (see below), because many hosts are moving their games from 7 p.m. to the afternoon due to a forecast of bitter cold Saturday.

CPU, Solon and Monticello all are in the same region, along with dangerous Maquoketa (10-11) and Davenport Assumption (5-11), which play each other at Maquoketa.

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“We have one of the toughest regions in 3A in my mind,” said Kremer, who earned his 300th career win earlier this season. “If we play hard, good things will happen, I hope.”

Monticello has surged behind a veteran core; three of the top four scorers are seniors, led by Gabrielle Guilford (14.1 points, 4.7 rebounds, 4.9 steals per game).

Class 2A regionals open Saturday, though most of the top teams don’t play until Tuesday’s quarterfinal. Dyersville Beckman (10-10) is the top area team in action, at home against South Winneshiek (2-17).

Saturday’s Class 3A regional quarterfinals

(7 p.m. unless noted)

Region 4

Hampton-Dumont/CAL (5-15) at Clear Lake (15-1)

South Tama (0-16) at Iowa Falls-Alden (13-7), 4 p.m.

Mount Vernon (1-19) at Vinton-Shellsburg (17-4), 4 p.m.

Williamsburg (10-11) at West Marshall (13-7)

Region 5

Oelwein (3-19) at Osage (19-2)

New Hampton (5-15) at Union Community (4-16)

Crestwood (5-16) at Waukon (16-4), 3 p.m.

Independence (2-18) at North Fayette Valley (19-2), 3 p.m.

Region 7

Anamosa (3-11) at Center Point-Urbana (14-6)

Davenport Assumption (5-11) at Maquoketa (10-11), 3 p.m.

Tipton (6-13) at Solon (15-5)

Camanche (3-17) at Monticello (15-5), 4 p.m.

Region 8

Albia (5-14) at West Burlington (18-1), 2 p.m.

Mid-Prairie (10-11) at Central Lee (12-8)

Eddyville EBF (8-13) at West Liberty (14-5)

Davis County (7-15) at Centerville (16-1), 3 p.m.

Saturday’s Class 2A first round

(7 p.m. unless noted)

Region 1

Postville (1-18) at Starmont (3-18), 5 p.m.

South Winneshiek (2-17) at Dyersville Beckman (10-10)

Region 3

Wapello (8-12) at Danville (6-13)

Cardinal (6-13) at Louisa-Muscatine (8-6), 2 p.m.

Region 4

East Marshall (3-15) at Hudson (10-11), 5 p.m.

North Cedar (1-19) at Northeast (6-13), 4 p.m.

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

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