Sunday, June 07, 2020
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Jim Ecker, President & Editor

Metro Sports Report

Boys substates: A promise somewhat delivered

Myself, like most coaches, players and fans of high school boys basketball, were delighted by the announcement last fall by the Iowa High School Athletic Association that they would wait to assign the substate groupings until the season was in progress.

This had been a long-time goal of the Iowa Basketball Coaches Association. The IBCA wanted to eliminate early tournament “marquee matchups" and to get the best teams to Des Moines and the state tournament.

While I was happy with this announcement, I also was leery. I heard from several reliable sources that “geography” still would be a big factor in determining the substate groups. At that moment, I knew there would be trouble.

The groups have been released -- 4A and 3A this week -- and the other two classes last week.

So, how did the IHSAA do?

In my opinion they got one class right, a passing grade in a second, and whiffed on the other two.


Dawson sets record, Warriors roll

Tia Dawson sure knows how to fill out a stat line.  And the record books.

The 6-foot-2 Washington senior became the school’s all-time leader in blocked shots Tuesday night and dominated Prairie in a 67-51 win at the Hawks' gym.

Dawson passed Kayla Pirtle (1991-95), who had 231 blocks during her Washington career. Dawson now owns the single-season, single-game and career records. She needed just two rejections to break the record, but had four to give her 234.

“I didn’t know that,” Dawson said of the record. “That feels amazing.”

Fueled by a loss and poor performance against Linn-Mar’s Kiah Stokes last week, Dawson had her best all-around game of the year with 19 points, 13 rebounds and four rejections. She altered another 10 shots or so and was a dominating presence inside against the smaller Hawks.

“We knew that we had a height advantage,” Dawson said. “We wanted to come back after the Linn-Mar loss.”

The Warriors moved to 11-2 overall and 8-2 in the Mississippi Valley Conference. Prairie dropped to 3-10 and 2-8.


French enjoyed trip to Army Bowl

Kennedy senior Christian French throughly enjoyed playing in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio on Jan. 8.

He stayed in a plush hotel, got to play before 37,893 fans in the Alamodome and had a chance to test his skills against some of the top high school football players in the country.

"Ate well, too," he said.


No. 8 J-Hawks upend No. 7 Central

DAVENPORT -- It didn’t take long for Jefferson to regain its winning ways.

The J-Hawks traveled east Tuesday to take on Davenport Central in a tough non-conference battle featuring two top-10 teams and narrowly escaped Marshall Gym with a 59-56 victory.

No. 8 Jefferson improved to 9-2 overall. The seventh-ranked Blue Devils fell to 8-2 with their first home loss of the season.

After struggling Friday night in a loss at Kennedy, the J-Hawks were able to get their shots to fall early. Within the first couple minutes Jefferson had a 7-0 lead.

Jarrod Uthoff nearly matched his game total against Kennedy in the first quarter, scoring nine of the J-Hawks' 18 points as Jefferson grabbed an 18-10 lead.


High school bowling is here to stay

Iowa’s newest sanctioned high school sport isn’t like the rest. There are no two-a-day practices in the heat of August. No cheerleaders or pep band. No tickets sales at the door.

High school bowling hasn’t exactly captured the imagination of student bodies, nor the general public. But it’s a sport that is taking off in Iowa. It’s a sport highly competitive but also perfect for the student who just wants to participate.

Every Metro school has a boys’ and girls’ bowling team now. Actually, several local schools have assembled bowlers the past couple decades, but it is only recently that the sport has been sanctioned by the Iowa High School Athletic Association (last year) and the Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union (2005).

Over 80 schools now field varsity bowling teams in Iowa, separated into two classes (by enrollment) for post-season competition. They are as small as Mormon Trail of Garden Grove, with a pool of 59 students, and as large as West Des Moines Valley (over 2,000 students).


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