Postseason pairings released for girls’ teams
The Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union announced postseason basketball pairings Tuesday, and the matchups were met with excitement from area coaches.
The Fairfield girls will open Class 4A Region 5 play Feb. 13 against Mount Pleasant, which has claimed both regular season rivalry games this winter. The Trojans fell to Mount Pleasant 68-38 in November and most recently dropped a 54-33 game Feb. 11.
Fairfield head coach Mick Flattery is banking on the third time becoming the charm for his girls.
“Mount Pleasant has taken care of us in the first two games, but [the draw] doesn’t bother us one bit. We feel like we can compete with Mount Pleasant and can beat them,” said Flattery. “It ought to be fun. We should be able to get a good crowd over there.”
The winner of the two teams’ third game will visit current No. 13 Oskaloosa Feb. 16 in round two. The championship round will take place Feb. 19 in Marengo, and barring a big upset, should include second-ranked Benton from the other side of the bracket.
“There are a lot of good teams in our region. There are no Iowa City Wests or Davenport Assumptions, but there are good, quality teams and that’s why we play the tough schedule that we play,” Flattery added.
In other area action, the smaller schools also will be staying close to home when they kick off the postseason Feb. 9.
In Class 2A Region 6, Van Buren will be making the short trip north to play Pekin. The winner of the first-round game then goes to Pella Christian Feb. 12.
“I think it’s great. There isn’t a team in there that I know we can’t beat, and there are some teams in the other brackets that I know we can’t beat,” said Matt Zeitler, Van Buren’s head coach.
Zeitler is champing at the bit for the potential opportunity to face Pella Christian, which handed his Warriors a 63-32 loss in the regional final round two seasons ago.
“That just makes my day. Win, lose or draw I want another shot at those suckers. I’ve got a little personal motive there,” Zeitler said.
Also in Class 2A Region 6, Cardinal opens postseason play at Eddyville-Blakesburg, with the winner heading to eight-ranked North Mahaska Feb. 12.
“I’m pretty confident. We’ll be ready and competitive,” said Cardinal first-year head coach Aaron Dose. “The girls are ready too, and we’ve already started preparation for that game.”
The other side of the Class 2A region features 12th-ranked Des Moines Christian, 13th-ranked Woodward Granger, Madrid, Colfax-Mingo, Mount Ayr and Central Decatur.