By Jeff Linder
The Springville Orioles underwent a preventive quarantine Saturday night.
There was illness going around, and Coach Brian O’Donnell wanted his girls’ basketball players at home, isolated from the bug.
“We’re so close,” he said. “We’ve avoided illness so far. What’s one night out when you weigh it against a lifetime of memories?”
The Orioles already have provided scrapbook moments galore. They are defending Class 1A state champions. They have an opportunity to do so much more.
Top-ranked Springville (23-1) faces Midland (20-5) in a Class 1A regional Monday night. Tipoff is 7 at Anamosa High School.
It’s one of three regional finals Monday involving area teams. The others are in 2A: No. 1 MFL MarMac (23-1) tangles with Cascade (20-3) at Manchester, and No. 7 Tipton (23-1) takes on No. 11 Mediapolis (23-1) at Solon.
Winners advance to the state tournament next week at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines.
Springville lost to Andrew at this stage two years ago, but hasn’t bowed to a 1A opponent since. The Orioles’ win streak against 1A competition is 27 games.
They beat the Eagles, 67-54, Dec. 13 at Wyoming.
“The last time we played them, we didn’t handle the press very well,” O’Donnell said. “We got into foul trouble. We weren’t playing as well defensively as we are now.”
In the postseason, the Orioles have allowed 67 points in three games and have posted victory margins of 39, 54 and 55.
Midland, on the other hand, has shown an ability to win the close games, beating Clinton Prince of Peace and Bellevue Marquette by three points apiece in its last two games.
Expect a defensive standoff at Manchester. MFL MarMac is allowing 35.5 points per game, Cascade 30.5.
“Points will probably be at a premium,” said MFL MarMac Coach Jason Halverson. “If we can find a way to get to 45 to 50, I think we’ll be all right.”
Friday’s regional-semifinal win over Turkey Valley marked the first postseason action for Bulldogs post Whitney Wubbena, who had been sidelined by illness. Wubbena scored eight points in about 12 minutes of action as the Bulldogs rolled, 63-34.
“She’ll probably play three or four minutes each quarter (Monday),” Halverson said.
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