Friday, March 24, 2017
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Jim Ecker, President & Editor

Xavier High School - Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Gerke, Francois alive at state wrestling

DES MOINES - Xavier High School wrestlers Josh Gerke and Alex Francois  split their two matches at the Class 3A state tournament Thursday and  are alive in the wrestle-backs.

Gerke, who is ranked No. 4 in Class 3A at 145 pounds, was nipped by  second-ranked Grant Stotts of West Des Moines Valley, 5-4, in a tough  opening-round match for both grapplers.

Gerke defeated Dalton Woodyard of Waverly-Shell Rock, 7-4, in a  consolation match and will wrestle again Friday.

Francois was pinned in the first round at 220 pounds, but he rebounded  and pinned Gage Linahon of Newton in 3:42 in a consolation match to  stay alive in the tournament.

Patrick Chambers was pinned in both of his matches at 126 pounds.  Chambers finished his sophomore campaign with a 29-20 record for Xavier.


Mims sets record as Saints roll

Matt Mims is a talented point guard who has the rare ability to score  a lot of points or collect a lot of assists, whichever the Xavier  Saints might need him to do on a particular night.

A lot of times he does both in the same game.

Mims scored 16 points and dished out nine assists as the Saints rolled  by Dubuque Wahlert, 71-52, in a Mississippi Valley Conference game at  Ron Thillen Gymnasium to square their record at 10-10.

Mims, a 5-foot-10 junior, established a new school record with 202  assists in his career, snapping the old mark of 200 assists set by Kevin Andrews from 2003-2006.

Mims still has a full year left in his high school career and could  finish with more than 300 assists at the rate he's going. He's  averaging a healthy 15.4 points and 5.3 assists, a testament to his  ability to score and find his teammates for baskets.

"Matt is, by instinct, a true point guard and a distributor," said  Xavier Coach Ryan Luehrsmann. "We've asked him to score a little bit  more this year.

"I really like where he's at right now. He's in a good spot. He's  making the play that's called upon at a given moment. And when he does  that, he's pretty special."



Xavier's Fulton, Zaugg make state bowling

Xavier High School seniors Jacob Fulton and Tanya Zaugg advanced to  the Class 2A state bowling tournament Tuesday with strong performances  at the state qualifying meet at May City Bowl.

Fulton submitted the top qualifying score in the entire state for  Class 2A when he rolled a 512 series with games of 236 and 276.

Zaugg turned in the fourth-best score in the state in Class 2A when  she bowled a 398 series with games of 234 and 164.

Fulton and Zaugg will compete at the state meet at Plaza Lanes in Des Moines on Tuesday, Feb. 21.

The Western Dubuque boys won the Class 2A team championship at the  qualifying tournament at May City Bowl with a score of 3,137. Xavier  placed second at 3,051.

Waverly-Shell Rock captured the girls title at May City Bowl with a  score of 2,602. Xavier placed second at 2,556.

Only the team champion advanced to the state meet.


Gerke gets 100th pin, heads to state

Xavier senior Josh Gerke collected three pins at the Class 3A district  wrestling tournament Saturday and is headed to the state tournament  with 101 pins in his career.

Gerke, Patrick Chambers and Alex Francois all finished second in their  weight classes for the Saints and qualified for state as district  runners-up.

Gerke lost to Caleb Conway of Marion, 4-2 in overtime, in the  championship at 145 pounds. Gerke (38-3) has lost only three times all  season, and all three setbacks have been to Conway.

Gerke began the tournament with pins in 2:18 and 2:42 before being  nipped by Conway. Gerke got his third pin in the wrestle-back for  second place to make the state meet for the second straight year.

Gerke is only the third wrestler in Metro history to reach 100 pins.  Matt Wycoff recorded 124 pins for Marion from 1997-2000 and is the  all-time Metro leader. Alijah Jeffery had 105 pins for Linn-Mar from  2011-14.



Saints tame Lions for 8th straight

The Xavier girls basketball team has not lost a game in four weeks and  is riding an eight-game winning streak heading into the postseason,  matching their longest victory streak in six years.

If the Saints can win two more games in a row, they'll finish the  season at the Class 4A state tournament in Des Moines.

The sixth-ranked Saints held Linn-Mar to 16 points in the first three  quarters Friday night and hung on for a 40-35 victory in the final  game of the regular season at Ron Thillen Gymnasium.

Xavier will take a 15-6 record into the regional semifinals next  Saturday night at home and would host the regional finals on Tuesday,  Feb. 21 if they are still alive.

"I like where we're at, except maybe free throws," said Xavier Coach  Tom Lilly after the Saints swept the season series from Linn-Mar for  the first time in five years.

The Saints finished only 11 for 21 at the free throw line, helping the  Lions chop a 14-point deficit to only four points in the final stages  before time ran out on the visitors.

Linn-Mar got back into the game with a trapping zone defense that  forced turnovers and left the Saints standing around too much, waiting  for something good to happen instead of being aggressive.

"We were holding on for dear life," said Lilly.



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