Pardon the cliche, but for the Springville Orioles, the road to Des Moines truly does go through Iowa City.
If Springville is going to advance to the girls’ state basketball tournament for the sixth consecutive season, it must successfully complete a tour of all three public high school gymnasiums in the Iowa City Community School District.
The Orioles (19-4), ranked 10th in Class 1A, crossed the Liberty High facility off their list Tuesday with a 62-33 regional-quarterfinal romp over Iowa Valley.
Next up, a regional-semifinal date with another South Iowa Cedar League foe (Sigourney) in another ICCSD gym (City High).
“It doesn’t matter where we play,” Springville Coach Christina Zaruba said. “We just enjoy playing this time of year, and we’ll try to make everywhere we go feel like home.”
Regional semifinals are statewide Friday in 1A and 2A. Winners play for state berths in next Wednesday’s regional finals.
Folks in Springville are accustomed to postseason pushes into March. The Orioles were 1A state runners-up in 2015, champions in 2016, 2017 and 2018 and qualifiers last year.
This is an extremely young team, full of sophomores and freshmen.
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“A lot of our kids have their moments as to when they lead the team. They all do it together,” Zaruba said. “Lauren Wilson does a good job at it. When she gets going, everybody else falls in line. And Morgan (Nachazel) and Grace (Matus), they get everybody to relax and calm down.”
Sigourney (18-4) counters with senior Megan Stuhr, who averages 21.2 points per game and crossed the 1,000-point plateau in the Savages’ 61-23 conquest of English Valleys on Tuesday.
The area game of the night will be at West Union, where No. 13 Elkader Central (20-3) tangles with Turkey Valley (19-4) in a rubber match between the Upper Iowa Conference rivals.
“The first time we played them (a 56-37 win at Jackson Junction in December), we pressured them well and did a good job defensively on (Central’s Hannah) Erickson,” Turkey Valley Coach Carla Nymeyer said. “Central’s freshmen played a lot better the second time” in a 49-44 Warriors victory Jan. 21.
Turkey Valley was going to be solid this season anyway, and the transfer of Ali Hoffert from South Winneshiek made the Trojans even better. Hoffert leads the team in scoring at 15.8 points per game.
“She’s a big contributor, an all-around multifaceted player,” Nymeyer said.
Friday's Class 2A regional semifinals
(All games, 7 p.m.)
MFL MarMac (20-2) vs. Grundy Center (15-7), at Oelwein
Aplington-Parkersburg (12-11) at Denver (15-8)
Dyersville Beckman (9-13) at Cascade (23-0)
Bellevue (13-9) at Iowa City Regina (15-7)
Wapello (15-5) at West Branch (19-3)
Van Buren County (20-3) at Mediapolis (21-1)
North Linn (20-2) vs. Pella Christian (5-18), at LeGrand
Woodward-Granger (18-4) at Van Meter (14-8)
Friday's Class 1A regional semifinals
(All games, 7 p.m.)
Ackley AGWSR (18-5) at Algona Garrigan (21-1)
Colo-Nesco (18-5) vs. East Buchanan (16-7), at Eldora
Saint Ansgar (19-2) vs. Clarksville (20-3), at Charles City
Elkader Central (20-3) vs. Turkey Valley (19-4), at West Union
Calamus-Wheatland (13-10) at Bellevue Marquette (21-1)
Lone Tree (13-10) at Burlington Notre Dame (19-4)
Collins-Maxwell (19-4) at Montezuma (21-1)
Springville (19-4) vs. Sigourney (18-4), at Iowa City High
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