Six days after Maquoketa Valley handed North Linn its first loss of the season, the teams went at it again.
This one wasn’t blood and guts. Rather, it was fun and games.
With both teams drawing a first-round bye — and an 11-day stretch between games — the Tri-Rivers Conference rivals scrimmaged at North Linn.
“We’re in different regions, and we both game a scrimmage left, so (Maquoketa Valley Coach) Scot (Moenck) and I said, ‘Why not?’ ” North Linn Coach Brian Wheatley said.
“We went pretty hard for an hour and a half, and did some situational stuff toward the end. But we had some fun with it and did some drills and some games, too.”
Fourth-rated North Linn (20-1) begins its postseason trek Tuesday with a Class 2A regional quarterfinal against North Cedar (12-10). Tipoff is 7 p.m. at Troy Mills.
After winning their first Tri-Rivers title since 1999, the Lynx’s focus shifts to its first state-tournament berth since 1997.
They need three wins to get there, and it’s likely they’ll need to wade through three Cedar Valley Conference opponents to get through 2A Region 5. North Cedar edged Alburnett, 56-54, in the first round Saturday.
The likely route would be North Cedar, then CVC co-champions West Branch and Iowa City Regina in succession.
“I think our regular-season schedule has prepared us well,” Wheatley said. “Losing our last game (56-54 in overtime at Delhi), I think it showed up some things we need to work on — things we had gotten away with during the year, they came back to bite us.”
No. 14 Maquoketa Valley (16-5) is one of three ranked teams in 2A Region 4 (No. 5 North Butler and No. 15 Sumner-Fredericksburg are the others, and that doesn’t count Big East champion Bellevue).
The Wildcats open at home with run-and-gun Edgewood-Colesburg (15-7), which raced past MFL MarMac, 73-51, in Round 1.
In Class 1A, Cedar Valley Christian (4-16) returns to the site of its first postseason win in school history when it faces Lisbon (8-15) in a Region 4 quarterfinal at Lone Tree.
Lisbon defeated CVCS, 47-42, on Feb. 5.
“When we played them at their place, we had the lead in the first half, then ran out of gas at the end,” Huskies Coach Craig Foote said. ”I’m happy we’re playing at Lone Tree. We’re fairly comfortable there.”
The area’s lone 1A ranked team, No. 9 Meskwaki Settlement (18-4) hosts HLV (4-17) in Region 5.
CLASS 2A REGIONAL QUARTERFINALS
(All games, 7 p.m.)
North Tama (10-11) at West Marshall (18-3)
Denver (5-15) at Hudson (19-2)
Ackley AGWSR (14-7) at Dike-New Hartford (15-6)
Jesup (10-11) at Aplington-Parkersburg (17-3)
Clayton Ridge (16-6) at Bellevue (17-4)
Edgewood-Colesburg (15-7) at Maquoketa Valley (16-5)
North Fayette (14-6) at Sumner-Fredericksburg (18-2)
Saint Ansgar (9-13) at North Butler (17-1)
Wapello (11-11) at Highland (12-10)
Durant (10-12) at Iowa City Regina (16-4)
Tipton (6-16) at West Branch (16-5)
North Cedar (12-10) at North Linn (20-1)
CLASS 1A REGIONAL QUARTERFINALS
(All games, 7 p.m.)
Elkader Central (11-9) vs. Don Bosco (11-10), at Maynard
East Buchanan (7-16) vs. Bellevue Marquette (13-6), at Wyoming
Tripoli (11-10) vs. Lansing Kee (11-9), at Jackson Junction
Dunkerton (10-12) at Grundy Center (18-3)
Clinton Prince of Peace (13-10) at Preston (15-6)
Lisbon (8-15) vs. Cedar Valley Christian (4-16), at Lone Tree
WACO (8-13) at Winfield-Mount Union (17-5)
Danville (11-10) at Burlington Notre Dame (18-3)
Lynnville-Sully (15-7) at Colo-Nesco (20-2)
Montezuma (7-16) at BGM (15-6)
Keota (14-8) at Belle Plaine (15-6)
HLV (4-17) at Meskwaki Settlement (18-4)