Matt Haddy expects it to be close. And he’s sure it will be low-scoring.
“If we get to 40 (points), the way we defend ... I’ll feel good about our chances,” said the Mount Vernon girls’ basketball coach.
The Mustangs (16-6) face Anamosa (18-4) in a Class 3A regional semifinal at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Anamosa. It’s the rubber match between the Wamac Conference East Division rivals — Anamosa was the champion, Mount Vernon the co-runner-up.
Points are sure to be at a premium. Mount Vernon allows 35.0 points per game, Anamosa 37.4. And the last time they met, Anamosa won 37-35.
“If this one is decided by more than a possession or two, I’d be really surprised,” Haddy said.
Mount Vernon has been a consistent winner during the recent regimes of Bob Kintzel, Dennis Roloff and now Haddy, in his first year. Anamosa, on the other hand, has recently ascended to this level.
The Raiders have posted their first winning season since 2010-11.
“It’s been fun watching these girls progress,” Anamosa Coach Jack Leighty said. “From three wins (in 2014-15), to six, to 10, and now to 18. They’ve taken some lumps along the way, and now they’re reaping the benefits.”
Tonight’s 3A winners advance to Saturday’s regional finals, in which the state-tournament field will be determined. The cast of characters of area teams still standing includes Vinton-Shellsburg (3-19), which travels to No. 9 Monticello (17-5), the area’s only ranked team in the class. And it includes Tipton (7-14), which upset Mid-Prairie in Round 1 and plays at No. 7 Davenport Assumption (14-8).
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Waukon (14-6) — which shared runner-up honors in the Northeast Iowa Conference — is at NEIC champion and top-rated Crestwood (21-0).
Class 4A and Class 5A regional quarterfinals are Wednesday. All Metro and Iowa City teams wait to start in the semifinal round Saturday. That includes unbeatens Iowa City High and Marion, the No. 1 teams in 5A and 4A.
The top area 4A/5A team in action Wednesday is No. 10 Western Dubuque (17-4), which has won eight consectutive games. The Bobcats host Clinton (5-16).
Wednesday's 5A regional quarterfinals
7 p.m. unless noted
Davenport West (0-18) at Davenport North (12-9)
Burlington (6-15) at Muscatine (9-12), 7:30 p.m.
Council Bluffs Abraham Lincoln (13-8) at Sioux City West (15-6)
Marshalltown (1-19) at Des Moines East (12-9)
Wednesday's 4A regional quarterfinals
All games, 7 p.m.
Ballard (12-9) at Webster City (10-10)
Charles City (0-20) at Decorah (9-12)
DeWitt Central (7-13) at Maquoketa (10-11)
Clinton (5-16) at Western Dubuque (17-4)
Independence (1-21) at Waterloo East (5-17)
Iowa City Liberty (6-14) at Dubuque Wahlert (6-15)
Fort Madison (1-20) at Washington (6-15)
Mount Pleasant (11-9) at Keokuk (13-6)
Wednesday's 3A regional semifinals
7 p.m. unless noted
New Hampton (12-10) at Osage (22-0)
Vinton-Shellsburg (3-19) at Monticello (17-5)
Waukon (14-6) at Crestwood (21-0)
Mount Vernon (16-6) at Anamosa (18-4)
Tipton (7-14) at Davenport Assumption (14-8)
Camanche (16-6) vs. Central Lee (21-1), at Muscatine, 5:30 p.m.
South Tama (13-9) at Roland-Story (20-2)
Eddyville EBF (11-10) at West Marshall (18-4)
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