CEDAR RAPIDS — Call it Wamac pride. The conference has one team in the state boys’ basketball tournament and looks to get two more tonight with Western Dubuque and Williamsburg in Class 3A substate finals.
They hope to join Solon, which qualified for the 2A field with a big substate win Saturday night over Danville.
“There weren’t too many teams in the Wamac who were real highly ranked this season, other than Solon,” said Western Dubuque Coach Dennis Geraghty. “But I just think we’ve had a great year.”
Geraghty’s Bobcats (18-5) will be favored in their game at Northern Iowa’s McLeod Center against Decorah (13-10). Not so for Williamsburg (17-6), which has the tough task of facing Mount Pleasant (20-1) in the first of two games at the U.S. Cellular Center.
Tipoff is 6:30. Davenport Assumption (20-3) and Dubuque Wahlert (14-9) will follow at approximately 8.
Mount Pleasant lost to Marion in the substate finals last year, and its only loss this season was to the Indians. Williamsburg split with Marion, so the compare-the-scores thing would seem to indicate the Raiders at least have a chance.
Watch for senior guard Chad Malloy, an outstanding shooter who leads Williamsburg in scoring at 18 points per game.
Western Dubuque, meanwhile, looks to make its first trip to Des Moines in 10 years. The Bobcats rallied from eight down for a district final victory over West Delaware.
“I told the kids that we’ve played 23 games, had 55 practices and two scrimmages, and it comes down to this,” Geraghty said. “We feel really good. We need to focus on taking care of what we have to do, and hopefully we’ll come out on top.”
Junior Zach Otting leads WD in scoring at 18.7 points per game. Decorah has three guys who score in double figures, led by Steve Drost at 12.3.
“They are a different type of team to play,” Geraghty said. “They give up a lot of points, but they score a lot of points.”