Flying under the radar. A chip on their shoulders.
Yeah, the cliches apply for the Maquoketa Valley girls’ basketball team.
The Wildcats are unranked and somewhat unheralded. They’re also undefeated, moving to 12-0 with a 49-48 victory over Class 2A No. 13 North Linn on Friday at Delhi.
“Coming into the year, we were flying under the radar a little bit,” said Wildcats Coach Scot Moenck. “With what we lost (six players to graduation), that was understandable. The kids are playing with a bit of a chip on their shoulders.”
Friday’s win over North Linn (12-1, 7-1), earned when Emily Peters drained a 3-pointer in the final seconds, moved Maquoketa Valley to 8-0 in the Tri-Rivers.
The Wildcats have beaten two of the other three Tri-Rivers contenders — they beat Cascade, 43-40, on Dec. 20. They host 2A No. 14 Monticello (11-1, 7-1) on Tuesday.
Peters’ trey was her second of the season.
“It wasn’t the play we had written up, but she’s a capable shooter,” Moenck said. “She’s one of those kids who sticks around after practice two or three times a week to shoot. It couldn’t have happened to a better kid.”
Maquoketa Valley is a balanced squad that promises to be around for a while. Of the top six scorers, only one — Danyele Strum — is a senior.
Junior Renee Huber leads the team in scoring at 11.8 points per game; sophomore Nicole Kudrna adds 10.4.
Jefferson’s Jacobson: ‘Playing it by ear’
Everything seemed good for Cedar Rapids Jefferson last Tuesday. Taylor Jacobson was back on the floor, and the J-Hawks were winners.
“I put her in the game in the second quarter, and she finished with 19 points,” said Coach Larry Niemeyer. “But after the game, she was limping around pretty bad.”
Jacobson was back on the bench in the J-Hawks’ loss to Iowa City West. She suffered a high ankle sprain in the season opener, then didn’t play against until last week.
“We’re just going to play it by ear” upon her next action, Niemeyer said.
Jacobson is averaging 17.5 points in her two games. Jefferson (5-6) plays at Waterloo West on Tuesday.
Regional pairings released Jan. 23
In its last memorandum, the Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union stated that regional pairings will be released Jan. 23.
The tournament series begins Feb. 9, with regional finals Feb. 20 (1A and 2A) and Feb. 21 (3A and 4A). The state tournament is Feb. 27-March 3 at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines.