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Friday, July 21, 2017
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Metro Sports Report

Tia Dawson headed to Dartmouth

Cedar Rapids Washington senior Tia Dawson has accepted an offer from Dartmouth College to pursue an Ivy League education and play NCAA Division I basketball.

Dawson struggled with the decision, uneasy with the notion of going so far from home, but finally decided the offer was too good to refuse. Dartmouth is located in Hanover, N.H.

"I had to decide by Friday, but they gave me until Monday because I was still on the edge of whether I should go or not," Dawson said Tuesday. "So last night (Monday night) they called and I made up my mind I was going to go there."

Dawson said she actually reached her decision Saturday night, but kept it a secret until Monday. "I didn't tell anybody," she said.

"I didn't tell my mom until I was on the phone with the coach," she said. "I wanted it to be a surprise for her. She was kind of scared that I was going to say no."

Ivy League schools do not offer athletic scholarships, but they can provide academic scholarships and need-based grants in their financial package. It costs approximately $55,000 per year to attend Dartmouth, and Dawson said the school will cover about 95 percent of her costs.

Dawson, a 6-foot-2 senior, is averaging 11.5 points, 10.6 rebounds and 3.8 blocks for Washington, which is ranked No.6 in Class 4A with a 17-3 record heading into postseason play. She holds the career record for blocked shots at Washington.

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Morgan Paige excited to play Hawkeyes

A talented basketball player named Paige has an important game in Iowa Wednesday night.

Morgan, not Marcus.

Linn-Mar junior Marcus Paige has been in the news a lot this season, leading the top-ranked Lions through an undefeated campaign and committing to North Carolina, but his big sister will take center stage Wednesday when Wisconsin visits Iowa for a Big Ten game in Iowa City.

Morgan, a 5-foot-9 freshman, is averaging 3.4 points for the Badgers, who are just one game out of first place in the Big Ten standings. She started 10 games earlier in the season due to injuries, but is a top reserve at this point.

Linn-Mar does not play Wednesday, and Morgan expects to see a lot of familiar faces in the stands at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

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Kiah Stokes tops Metro in 4 departments

Kiah Stokes has won the quadruple crown.

The McDonald's All-American from Linn-Mar topped the Metro in scoring, rebounding, blocked shots and field goal percentage for the 2010-11 regular season.

Not only that, the 6-foot-3 did it by wide margins in each category.

Stokes averaged 25.0 points, 15.1 rebounds, 5.5 blocks and shot 71.8 percent from the field. The runners-up in those columns were Courtney Strait of Kennedy in scoring (15.3), Tia Dawson of Washington in rebounding (10.6), Dawson in blocked shots (3.8) and Alex Saxen of Xavier in field goal percentage (51.1).

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Northrup wrestling a girl? No comment

Linn-Mar sophomore Joel Northrup has wrestled a girl before, but that was a long time ago. "When I was real young," he said Monday.

He'll wrestle another girl Thursday morning at the Class 3A state tournament in Des Moines, and this will make history.

Girls have been wrestling against boys for more than 20 years in Iowa on high school teams, but this is the first time a girl has qualified for the state meet.

There are two, in fact.

Cassy Herkelman, a freshman from Cedar Falls High School, qualified this year. So did Megan Black, a sophomore from Ottumwa.

Northrup will face Herkelman in the first round at Wells Fargo Arena on opening day of the 86th IHSAA wrestling tournament.

It will be an historic occasion. Northrup said he'll be happy to talk about it after the match, but not now.

"I don't really have a comment for that," he said Monday before practice at Linn-Mar. "I'll talk to you after the first round."

This is no publicity stunt. Herkelman and Black have wrestled for their varsity teams all season and finished second at their respective district meets this past Saturday.

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Perseverance, determination ultimate virtues

The postseason is all about perseverance. Fight through the tough times and press forward during the good.

The high school district wrestling tournaments are poignant illustrations of how perseverance is an ultimate virtue. The top ranked wrestlers will get every opponent’s best effort, so they must be on their game to avoid an upset loss. The lower seeds exude optimism, knowing the regular season means nothing in this one-day qualifier.

Jordan Baskerville of Cedar Rapids Kennedy and Riley Welsh of Cedar Rapids Jefferson were prime examples Saturday of wrestlers who overcame adversity, pressed ahead and took their shot at postseason glory.

Baskerville and Welsh both had been injured during the regular season and their careers were in doubt. Baskerville recovered more quickly than anticipated and was ready for the districts. Welsh was on the sideline late in the season and wasn’t sure he’d be able to return until a doctor gave him the OK.

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