Mike Sconsa isn’t fooled by his opponent’s record, and he isn’t comforted by the ease of victory in the last encounter.
“I’m trying to get that across to my team,” said Sconsa, whose fourth-ranked Cascade Cougars (19-2) host Dyersville Beckman (8-13) in a Class 3A quarterfinal as girls’ basketball regionals begin Saturday. “They have eight wins, but they’ve played 19 games against 3A and 4A competition. They’re battle-tested.”
The new five-class structure means Cascade is seeing new teams in its postseason bracket. Quality squads loom, like New Hampton, Crestwood and Waukon.
Sconsa isn’t looking past Round 1, even though the Cougars handed Beckman, 40-23, in early January.
That’s a typical-looking score when Cascade is involved. The Cougars are allowing 26.9 points per game, the fewest in the state in all classes.
“I like the way we’re playing,” Sconsa said. “We have found a core of kids we can depend on.”
Cascade is a slight favorite to come out of Region 4. Meanwhile, No. 1 Davenport Assumption is a solid pick in Region 5, even though seven of the eight teams in that bracket sport winning records.
“We can’t worry about who’s in our region,” said Center Point-Urbana Coach Philip Klett, whose 11th-ranked Stormin’ Pointers (16-5) host Union (13-8) in the first round. “We’ve got an ultimate goal beyond how we do in our conference or whether we go to (state).
“We’ve got to take care of Union first, and they scare me to death.
CPU outlasted Union 40-38 in overtime at Rivalry Saturday on Jan. 5, winning on Arika Wooldridge’s basket at the buzzer.
Union-CPU is one of three top-shelf first-rounders in Region 5. Northeast (16-6) is at Wamac East co-champion Mount Vernon (17-4), and Assumption (18-2) hosts Camanche (16-5).
Sixth-ranked Mediapolis (20-1) and No. 13 Mid-Prairie (15-6) are the teams to beat in Region 6. Mid-Prairie handed Mediapolis its only loss of the season Jan. 5; the Golden Hawks open at Wellman against South Tama (11-10).
Class 2A first-round games are Saturday, with the top teams earning first-round byes and tasting their first action Tuesday. That includes No. 4 North Linn (20-1), the Tri-Rivers Conference champion.
SATURDAY’S CLASS 3A REGIONAL QUARTERFINALS
(All times 7 p.m.)
Oelwein (4-17) at New Hampton (15-5)
Crestwood (12-6) at Waukon (15-5)
Independence (11-10) at Waterloo Columbus (4-16)
Dyersville Beckman (8-13) at Cascade (19-2)
Anamosa (5-16) at Monticello (16-5)
Union (13-8) at Center Point-Urbana (16-5)
Northeast (16-6) at Mount Vernon (17-4)
Camanche (16-5) at Davenport Assumption (18-2)
Columbus Junction (14-8) at Williamsburg (14-7)
West Liberty (8-13) at Mediapolis (20-1)
East Marshall (4-17) at Baxter CMB (8-14)
South Tama (11-10) at Mid-Prairie (15-6)
CLASS 2A REGIONAL FIRST ROUND
(All games 7 p.m.)
North Tama (9-11) at Iowa Valley (15-6), winner plays at West Marshall (18-3) Tuesday
Wapsie Valley (3-17) at Denver (4-15), winner plays at Hudson (19-2) Tuesday
Conrad BCLUW (1-19) at Ackley AGWSR (13-7), winner plays at Dike-New Hartford (15-6) Tuesday
Jesup (9-11) at Gladbrook-Reinbeck (8-13), winner plays at Aplington-Parkersburg (17-3) Tuesday
Starmont (10-12) at Clayton Ridge (15-6), winner plays at Bellevue (17-4) Tuesday
MFL MarMac (11-10) at Edgewood-Colesburg (14-7), winner plays at Maquoketa Valley (16-5) Tuesday
Nashua-Plainfield (4-17) at North Fayette (13-6), winner plays at Sumner-Fredericksburg (18-2) Tuesday
Saint Ansgar (8-13) at South Winneshiek (13-7), winner plays at North Butler (17-1) Tuesday
Wapello (10-11) at West Burlington (2-19), winner plays at Highland (12-10) Tuesday
Louisa-Muscatine (2-19) at Durant (9-12), winner plays at Iowa City Regina (16-4) Tuesday
Wilton (3-18) at Tipton (5-16), winner plays at West Branch (16-5) Tuesday
Alburnett (3-18) at North Cedar (11-10), winner plays at North Linn (20-1) Tuesday
CLASS 1A REGIONAL FIRST ROUND
(All games 7 p.m.)
Valley Community (5-16) at Elkader Central (10-9)
Postville (1-19) at Tripoli (10-10)
Lansing Kee (10-9) at Turkey Valley (4-15)