Tuesday, February 18, 2020
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Jim Ecker, President & Editor

Metro Sports Report

Lions No. 1; Cougars, J-Hawks fall

Unbeaten Linn-Mar remains the No. 1 team in the Associated Press Class 4A boys basketball rankings released Monday.

Linn-Mar (19-0) is the only unbeaten team in Class 4A and has been ranked No. 1 throughout the season. The Lions have a tough game Tuesday at No. 10 Jefferson (14-4) and close out the season at home Thursday against Class 3A No. 10 Dubuque Wahlert (14-5).

Kennedy (15-4) lost twice last week and dropped four spots to No. 7. The Cougars were beaten by Iowa City West (14-4) and Jefferson, both of whom were tied for ninth in last week's poll. West moved up four spots to No. 5 and Jefferson fell a spot to No. 10.

Despite a 45-41 loss to unranked Cedar Rapids Washington, Sioux City East (15-4) fell only one spot to No. 6.

In Class 3A, Waverly-Shell Rock (20-0) replaced Sioux City Heelan (17-2) at No. 1. PCM Monroe (21-0) is No. 1 in 2A and Danville (21-0) replaced IMS (20-1) atop the 1A poll after beating IMS last Friday.


1. Linn-Mar (19-0), 2. Des Moines Hoover (17-2), 3. Davenport West (17-2), 4. Ankeny (16-3), 5. Iowa City West (14-4), 6. Sioux City East (15-4), 7. Kennedy (15-4), 8. Cedar Falls (14-4), 9. Waukee (15-4), 10. Jefferson (14-4).



Tough draws for Prairie, Jefferson mat teams

Waverly-Shell Rock and Iowa City West could have the two strongest wrestling teams in the state this year, so guess who Prairie and Jefferson drew in the Regional Dual Team Tournamament?

Exactly right.

Prairie will visit Waverly-Shell Rock and Jefferson will visit Iowa City West in the opening round of the Regional Dual Team Tournament on Tuesday, Feb. 22. Both Metro teams will be heavy underdogs in those meets.

Linn-Mar will host North Scott in the opening round Feb. 22 with a shot at making the state tournament Feb. 26 at the U.S. Cellular Center in Cedar Rapids.

Prairie and Jefferson finished second in the team standings at their district tournaments this past Saturday, which is why they were paired with district champions for the dual team tournament. Linn-Mar won its district and drew a district runnerup in North Scott.

Sixteen teams qualified for the regional tournament. The assignments are Burlington at Bettendorf, Jefferson at Iowa City West, Spencer at Lewis Central, North Scott at Linn-Mar, Ankeny at Mason City, Urbandale at Southeast Polk, Indiana at West Des Moines Valley and Prairie at Waverly-Shell Rock.



Saints' Mattke future PG poster material?

For just more than half his life, Cedar Rapids Xavier junior Mack Mattke has looked around at quite an assortment of portraits of many of the best baseball players the state of Iowa has produced over the past decade.

The poster-sized photos are displayed on the walls of Perfect Game USA, a baseball scouting and recruiting service located on Rockford Road SW, just across the street from the Cedar Rapids Ice Arena and just down the street from Perfect Game Field at Veterans Memorial Stadium.

Just inside the door of the batting cage area at PG, there is one long banner that features the photos of Iowa City High’s Jon Gilmore, West Delaware’s B.J. Hermsen, Marshalltown’s Jeff Clement and Des Moines area standouts Jeremy Hellickson and Matt Macri, among others.

All of those players are in the professional ranks at some level right now, and all participated at Perfect Game events.

But please excuse Mattke if he pays special attention to the portrait of Ryan Sweeney, a 2003 Xavier grad who was a second-round MLB Draft pick and is now an outfielder with the Oakland Athletics. There also is a photo of Travis Sweet, a 2004 Xavier grad who was also drafted professionally and played collegiately at the University of Iowa.


Washpun is Warriors' little big man

Washington senior Wes Washpun is not your typical 6-foot-1 point guard.

First of all, he's an exceptional 6-foot-1 point guard, not a typical point guard, who's blessed with tremendous speed, quickness, ballhanding abilities, defensive prowess, leadership and passing skills, all of which will probably land him a Division I scholarship this spring.

In addition to all that, he ranks second in the Metro in blocked shots and fourth in rebounding, big-time numbers that normally are associated with 'big man' stats.


Cougars escape with Roloff's 300th win

Somebody forgot to tell the spunky Marion girls it was supposed to be rollover for Roloff Saturday night at the Kennedy gym.

Veteran Cougar Coach Dennis Roloff was going for his 300th win in a 20-year career at the school. Not many figured the party would be spoiled by a middle-of-the-pack 6-14 team from the Class 3A Wamac conference.

But it took a couple of improbable turn of events in the last 37.5 seconds of a roller coaster game for Kennedy (8-13)  to escape with a 50-49 near-miracle victory.

Roloff himself wasn’t one of those who thought the big school/small school match-up would be in the bag.

“They’re very well coached,” he said after a post-game celebration at midcourt.

“We knew their kids would come ready to play and play hard. And for 31 minutes and 30 seconds or so, they played wonderful.”


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