Give the Iowa High School Athletic Association credit. They seem to have gotten this one right.
The IHSAA released boys’ basketball substate pods for Class 3A and 4A Monday and have split up all of the 4A Metro schools. There were rumors the six Metros would be in the same pod, but the association has seemed to make a concerted effort to get the best teams possible to the state tournament with these pods.
For instance, top-five ranked Western Dubuque and Dubuque Senior find themselves in separate substates. Western Dubuque is in a six-school pod with Cedar Falls, Cedar Rapids Kennedy, Cedar Rapids Washington, Waterloo East and Waterloo West.
Senior is in with Clinton, Dubuque Hempstead, Linn-Mar, Pleasant Valley and Cedar Rapids Xavier. Cedar Rapids Prairie and Cedar Rapids Jefferson find themselves in the same pod as defending state champion Iowa City West.
There’s no question the Metro is down this season, which seems to make the pod pairings fair.
In 3A, Marion is in with top-five ranked Davenport Assumption, among others. Solon, which was paired with Assumption last season, is in an eight-school substate with defending state champion Mount Pleasant, among others.
Here are all of the substates and districts. Seedings for each will be released in February.