Friday, November 16, 2018
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Jim Ecker, President & Editor

Metro Sports Report

Xavier's Trcka wins state bowling title

DES MOINES -- Xavier sophomore Tara Trcka rolled a 248 in her third game and won the Class 1A state bowling individual title Thursday at Plaza Lanes.

Trcka, who had battled a hand injury the last two weeks of the season, beat Dubuque Wahlert's Kristina Hochrein by three pins.  Wahlert won the 1A girls team title.

Western Dubuque won the boys team title and Red Oak's Taylor Mellott was the individual winner, rolling a 750 series.

Less than a week ago, Trcka's hand was so sore that she barely was able to qualify for the girls state bowling tournament.  She was one of the last players to make the field as an at-large entry after rolling a 388 in Saturday's regional tournament at May City Bowl.

But she had the line Thursday.

Trcka rolled a 236 game in the first round to take a four-pin lead over Hochrein and Creston's Taylor Hance.

Hance held a 23-pin lead over Hochrein after the second round, when Trcka slid to third place with a 190 that put her 31 pins back.

Trcka dueled Hance in the final game, beating her Mississippi Valley Conference foe by 11 pins, 248-237.  Hance, meanwhile, rolled a 197 and finished in third place, 20 pins behind Trcka.

The Class 2A tournament is Friday. Jefferson, Linn-Mar and Kennedy will compete for the girls team title and Linn-Mar for the boys.


From Panthers to prep stars

Three area high school seniors who grew up together on a steady diet of basketball are winding up their senior seasons.

Alissa Oney (Washington), Kiah Stokes (Linn-Mar) and Kristin Kramer (Marion) were teammates on the AAU state championship Cedar Rapids Panthers team and played together for all six years (third grade through eighth grade) of the program.

The three won many 3-on-3 tourneys and were also 3-on-3 Iowa Games state champs in 2008. Their coach, Kathy Oney, gives all the credit to Mike Whited, who, according to Oney, laid the foundation when he started the program back in 1984.

“When kids came out of the Panther program, they had the foundation of basketball skills. We worked on fundamentals with repetition, ball handling, shooting, and doing things the right way. He taught me so much,” said Kathy Oney.


Looking ahead to the girls tournament

The tickets have been punched. Thirty-two teams in four classes are headed off to the capitol city and the Girls State Basketball Tournament next week. Included in that number are a pair of Metro teams in Linn-Mar and Washington.
There is something magical about watching teams celebrate after winning a championship, or in this case, earning a trip to state.
Before we take a look at the 4A field, a few comments about the week in Des Moines are in order. For the most part the Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union does an outstanding job of hosting the annual affair at Wells Fargo Arena. I do have a couple of suggestions, though.
First of all, get rid of the dreaded 10 a.m. game on the first three days of the tournament. No games should be played at that time. In fact, no games of any kind should be played at that early hour.


Marion squeezes into 3A substate final

Dusty Albaugh and Kasey Semler got a taste of the Class 3A boys state basketball tournament in 2009 when they were sophomores. Now they want a full meal.

They could get it Monday night.

Albaugh scored 17 points Thursday night as Marion slipped by Mount Vernon, 38-37, in the Class 3A district finals on a neutral court at Kennedy High School.

Marion (16-7) will face Benton (16-7) in the substate finals Monday at 8 p.m. at the U.S. Cellular Center for the right to play in the state tournament in Des Moines from March 8-12.

"It's a goal of ours to get back to state," said Albaugh, who made five 3-pointers Thursday. "Kasey and I and Tyler (Fisher), we know what that was like. We want another taste of that."


Northrup: I stuck to my convictions

Joel Northrup said on national television Wednesday (Feb. 23) morning that he decided in the fifth grade that he would never wrestle against a girl again.

Northrup is the Linn-Mar sophomore who forfeited his opening-round match in the Iowa state wrestling tournament last Thursday because he did not want to compete against Cassy Herkelman of Cedar Falls, one of two girls to make the tournament this year.

Northrup has declined interviews with local and state media, but he was scheduled to speak Wednesday morning with national correspondents from CBS, NBC, CNN and Fox from the KGAN studios in Cedar Rapids.

Northrup appeared on "The Early Show" on CBS. He was asked to explain his decision not to wrestle against Herkelman, which the family said last Thursday was based on religious principles.

"Wrestling is a combat sport," Northrup told CBS. "It gets violent at times. You get put in compromising holds and positions. I just don't think it's right that a boy should engage a girl in a manner like this."

Northrup finished third in the 2010 state tournament at 103 pounds and was ranked No.5 in the state at 112 pounds heading into the 2011 tournament. He won a consolation match after defaulting to Herkelman, then lost a match and was eliminated without placing.

The CBS correspondent reminded Northrup that Herkelman accepted the possible consequences of wrestling against a boy. Herkelman competed for the Cedar Falls varsity all season.

"I mean, she deserves to be out there, but I do believe that if she does wrestle, she should wrestle other girls and I should wrestle other boys," said Northrup.

Northrup was asked by CBS if he thinks he "cheated" Herkelman of an opportunity to compete.

"It's kind of a tough situation. I don't believe so," he replied. "I just had to stick with my convictions. It's hard for her, but I just hold on to what I decided in fifth grade, that I wouldn't wrestle a girl."


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