Wednesday, June 20, 2018
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Jim Ecker, President & Editor

Metro Sports Report

Lions facing different Iowa City West team

DES MOINES -- Iowa City West Coach Steve Bergman was not a happy guy two months ago after the Trojans lost back-to-back games to Cedar Rapids Washington and Cedar Rapids Jefferson.

In the first game, Wes Washpun banked in a 3-pointer at the buzzer to give Washington a 54-52 victory. Four days later, West lost to Jefferson in double-overtime after Jarrod Uthoff saved the J-Hawks in the final seconds of regulation with an off-balance 3-pointer.

Those two losses -- both in Cedar Rapids -- dropped Iowa City West to 4-4, but something very interesting has happened to the Trojans since then. They have not lost again.

Iowa City West (20-4) will face No.1 Linn-Mar (24-0) in the semifinals of the Class 4A state tournament Friday afternoon at 1:30 at Wells Fargo Arena.

Ankeny (20-4) will meet Des Moines Hoover (22-2) in the other semifinal at 3:15 p.m. Friday. The championship game is scheduled for Saturday night at 8:05.

Iowa City West has won 16 straight games. If the Trojans win their 17th straight on Friday, it would vault the fourth-ranked Trojans into the state finals.


Ugly, ugly, ugly loss for J-Hawks

DES MOINES - Cedar Rapids Jefferson picked the wrong time for an ugly date with futility.

The J-Hawks scored only 16 points in the first three quarters Wednesday night and lost to Des Moines Hoover, 45-39, in the opening round of the Class 4A state tournament at Wells Fargo Arena.

Jarrod Uthoff was the only Jefferson player to make a field goal during the first three quarters of the game. He had 15 points after three quarters and the rest of the J-Hawks had one lonely, solitary point after 24 minutes of basketball.

Jefferson scored 23 points in the fourth period, thanks partly to three 3-pointers by sophomore Creighton Robinson, but the J-Hawks never managed to catch up. Robinson, listed generously at 5-foot-10, was playing in only his third varsity game and hadn't scored a point prior to the state tournament.

Jefferson Coach Stu Ordman turned the game into a free throw contest in the fourth quarter, knowing Hoover was a weak foul shooting team at 60.9 percent, but the Huskies made 17 of 29 free throws in the final period to stay ahead.

The eighth-ranked J-Hawks (17-6) shot 11 for 45 from the field (24.4 percent) and lost in the first round of the state tournament for the second straight year. Uthoff finished his prep career with 20 points and 10 rebounds, but hit only 6 of 16 shots and was 0-for-3 on 3-pointers.


Award is the result of hard work by many

Well, here we are for the 23rd time at Wells Fargo Arena getting ready to cover the boys state basketball tournament. Of course, the first 17 or so were across the street at Vets and while a little of the mystique has left after the move it remains one of the great events of the year.
This year is different.
The Iowa High School Athletic Association has seen fit to select me to receive one of their News Media Awards for 2011. This is the "Hall of Fame" for the media in the state of Iowa. Radio, newspaper and television writers and broadcasters have been honored by the IHSAA for many years, and now I feel very humbled to be selected to walk among them. Many greats of the state of Iowa are included in this prestigous group, including my two mentors growing up in Eastern Iowa, Bob Brooks and Ron Gonder. They set the blueprint for me and others that I still try to follow today. Other names include: Jeff Dahn, Bob Denney as well as John Campbell and Scott Saville. 


'Unfortunate' game for Marion at state

DES MOINES -- Burn the boxscores. Shred the videotape. Tell YouTube to take a hike.

Do the Marion Indians a favor. Pretend Tuesday's game against No.1 Waverly-Shell Rock in the Class 3A state basketball tournament never took place.

Please, for Marion's sake, destroy the evidence.

The Indians went 13 embarrasing minutes without a field goal during one long, miserable, insufferable stretch. They shot 20 percent for the game, a woeful 8 for 40. Kasey Semler committed eight turnovers. Dusty Albaugh did not make a basket.

Yes, bury those boxscores.

Waverly-Shell Rock shellacked Marion, 68-36, in the first round of the Class 3A state tournament at Wells Fargo Arena, and there's no pretty way to describe it.

"It was unfortunate," said Semler.

The game began well for the Indians. They grabbed an early 13-4 lead and looked comfortable on the big stage. They looked relaxed, confident and capable. "We were kind of hoping to catch them on a bad day," said Albaugh. "At the beginning, I thought that was possible."

The game turned in a hurry.


Stokes is Miss Iowa Basketball

The awards from a great high school basketball career continue to be reaped by Linn-Mar's Kiah Stokes.  The latest is the ultimate honor a senior girls basketball player in Iowa can receive.

Stokes has been named Miss Iowa Basketball by the Iowa Newspaper Association, the INA announced Tuesday. She was voted the honor by a panel of sportswriters from newspapers across the state.

Stokes is the first player from Linn-Mar and the fifth from a Metro high school to win the award, which has been presented annually since 1981.  She is only the second Metro athlete to win the award since the entire state switched to playing five-player basketball in 1994. Kennedy's Anne O'Neil won in 2000. The other three Metro winners all came from Jefferson -- Karen Schulte in 1993, Kate Galligan in 1992 and Lisa Becker in 1982.

Stokes led the state in scoring with a 25.0 average and was second in rebounding, averaging 14.9. She also was second in blocked shots with 141. She holds the state record for career blocked shots with 515 and finished No. 4 on the career rebound list with 1,239. She also scored 1,704 points.


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