They’ve held serve. They’ve hit shots.
As a result, the Regina Regals are in a familiar place — first place in the Cedar Valley Conference.
The state’s most accurate shooting team from the field (52.2 percent) and from 3-point range (53.5 percent), Iowa City Regina is 6-0.
And thanks to home wins over top challengers Mid-Prairie and West Branch in the past week, the Regals (5-0 in the league) are in a good early position for a fourth straight Cedar Valley crown.
“It’s been a big week for us,” said Regals Coach Clark Anderson. “We talked about it ahead of time, how important it was to protect our home floor.”
Regina’s fast start has been accomplanied by little fanfare. The Regals did not crack the Class 2A rankings until this week, when they settled in at No. 13.
And that’s fine with Anderson.
“It gives us a nice card to play,” he said. “We don’t feel like we’ve gotten the recognition we deserve. But we know that might start to change the longer we keep winning.”
Mid-Prairie (3-2, 2-2) is ranked ninth in Class 3A. The Regals beat the Golden Hawks, 54-51, last Friday. Then, they handled 2A No. 15 West Branch (4-2, 2-1), 49-36, Tuesday.
Junior Jenna Lehman leads the team at 17 points per game. She’s the only Regal in double-figures, but she’s not the only one shooting at a high rate.
Lehman is shooting 60 percent from the floor. Nikki Becker (6.8 ppg) is shooting 52 percent, Jordyn Lehman (6.3 ppg) is accurate on 65 percent of her shots.
“We’ve been able to play hard defense, and that has transitioned into a lot of layups,” Anderson said. “In the half-court game, it seems we either turn the ball over before we get a good look, or we get that good look and convert.”
SCHEDULE SET FOR RIVALRY SATURDAY
The ninth rendition of Rivalry Saturday will be a six-game affair at Cornell College on Jan. 5.
Event director Scot Moenck released the day’s schedule:
* 11:15 a.m. – Solon vs. Clear Creek Amana
* 1 p.m. – Preston vs. Springville
* 2:45 p.m. – Mid-Prairie vs. Mediapolis
* 4:30 p.m. – Northeast vs. Bellevue
* 6:15 p.m. – Union vs. Center Point-Urbana
* 8 p.m. – Mount Vernon vs. Iowa City Regina
A THIRD AREA EJECTION
Starmont Coach Jerry Bentley became the third varsity coach — all from the Gazette area — to be ejected this season.
Bentley received two technical fouls in the Stars’ 68-28 loss to North Linn on Tuesday at Troy Mills. Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union Joel Oswald termed the infraction “verbal bench decorum.”
Starmont is at Monticello on Friday, and Oswald said Bentley will serve his one-game suspension then.
Bentley joins Maquoketa’s Tom Barnes and Iowa City West’s B.J. Mayer on the list of those ejected this season. Oswald said a middle-school coach from North Fayette also has been tossed.