Prep Basketball

Girls' basketball: Rivalry Saturday 2020 field nears completion

Maquoketa Valley-Des Moines Christian is a potential 2A/3A 1-vs.-1 matchup

Maquoketa Valley girls' basketball coach Scot Moenck shouts instructions to his players during a 2017 game. Moenck is th
Maquoketa Valley girls’ basketball coach Scot Moenck shouts instructions to his players during a 2017 game. Moenck is the director of Rivalry Saturday, which will make its 17th appearance on Nov. 28 at Kohawk Arena, Cedar Rapids. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)

For more than a decade, Scot Moenck has played matchmaker at Rivalry Saturday.

“It’s a process that takes time,” said Moenck, girls’ basketball coach at Maquoketa Valley as well as Rivalry Saturday director.

“A lot of things have to fall into place to make it work. You want to do right for both teams, both school districts.”

Next year, Moenck’s own team might have the plum game.

Maquoketa Valley (17-5 last season) will face Des Moines Christian (22-3) in a showcase contest for the 17th edition of the event, which is slated for Nov. 28 at Kohawk Arena.

If The Gazette’s preseason rankings hold, Maquoketa Valley will be No. 1 in Class 2A; Des Moines Christian will be No. 1 in 3A.

“It’s going to be a great challenge,” Moenck said. “They’re traditionally very good. We have some great teams in our conference, and when you have the chance to schedule a non-conference opponent like this, you jump on it.”

In the span of about five minutes, three Rivalry Saturday matchups went official Monday, sending the schedule to seven games. Moenck is seeking one more.

The 14 teams already booked had a combined record of 258-99 last year. Six of them reached the state tournament, led by 2A champion North Linn (25-2). The Lynx will face Denver (17-9).

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Denver and Des Moines Christian are two of four Rivalry Saturday newcomers, along with West Liberty (19-5) and Grundy Center (16-8).

West Liberty is coming off its first winning season since 1991. The Comets will face Solon (9-13). Grundy Center will meet West Branch (21-4).

Also, Marion (21-2) meets Iowa City West (14-10), Cedar Rapids Xavier (15-8) tangles with 1A state runner-up Algona Garrigan (25-2) and DeWitt Central (18-4) faces Gilbert (19-4).

Game times will be announced at a later date.

Last year’s event contained two rules amendments, using a 35-second shot clock and resetting team fouls on a quarterly basis (five fouls for a quarter started the bonus, with two free throws). Moenck has applied for the same amendments again for the 2020 event, but the Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union has not yet ruled.

Rivalry Saturday schedule

Nov. 28, 2020, at Coe College (Kohawk Arena)

Times TBA

(Records are 2019-20, rankings are 2020-21 Gazette preseason)

• Algona Garrigan (25-2, 1A No. 2) vs. Cedar Rapids Xavier (15-8)

• Des Moines Christian (22-3, 3A No. 1) vs. Maquoketa Valley (17-5, 2A No. 1)

• Gilbert (19-4, 4A No. 3) vs. DeWitt Central (18-4, 4A No. 4)

• Marion (21-2, 4A No. 7) vs. Iowa City West (14-10, 5A No. 6)

• North Linn (25-2, 2A No. 7) vs. Denver (17-9, 2A No. 3)

• West Branch (21-4, 2A No. 2) vs. Grundy Center (16-8)

• West Liberty (19-5, 3A No. 4) vs. Solon (9-13)

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

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