KEOTA — Every game against these guys is a trap game.
The Keota Eagles employ a variety of pressure, trapping defenses to befuddle opponents. They have worked to the tune of a 14-0 record and No. 3 ranking in Class 1A.
“We like to put a lot of pressure on the ball,” said Keota Coach Dan Stout. “We’ll always have two or three guys trapping, then a couple of guys in the middle of the press looking for passes to intercept.”
It’s just the style Stout teaches and prefers to play. Considering his team allows just under 32 points per game, it’s a style that’s working big time.
“Full court, half court, three-quarter court. We’ll do everything that’s out there,” Stout said. “We play 10 guys regularly. The kids know they play about five minutes as hard as they can, then we get the next guy in there.”
Keota always has a good team, but this one appears to have the chance to be special. There are eight seniors who have been part of teams that were 22-2 the last two seasons.
There is size up front, including 6-foot-5 junior Casey Sieren. He leads Keota in scoring (15.6 points per game), rebounding, blocks and steals, shooting 65 percent from the field.
Now if only they can get past that pesky district final. That’s been the stumbling block the last two years.
“We don’t talk about it much,” said Stout, whose team’s district consists of no other ranked teams but four rivals from the South Iowa Cedar League. “We really do look at it game by game. But I also know it is something that is in everybody’s minds.”
This and that
—- Solon’s reign atop the Class 3A rankings will surely be a short one. The Spartans lost their first game of the season Tuesday night at home to DeWitt Central, 55-47. Central led from start to finish, building as much as a 14-point first-half lead. Solon replaced Sioux City Heelan at No. 1 this week.
—-Is there any better small-school conference than the Cedar Valley? West Branch, North Cedar and Mid-Prairie are all ranked in Class 2A, though Iowa City Regina leads the league after its win Tuesday night against M-P.
Mid-Prairie just knocked off West Branch last week in overtime. North Cedar also has beaten the Bears, but West Branch has beaten Regina.
North Cedar and West Branch are in the same district, as are Regina and Mid-Prairie. They will play each other in substate.