SIOUX CITY | Believe or not, the Iowa and Nebraska girls state basketball tournaments are three weeks away.
Class 1A girls open regional tournament play on Thursday. Class 2A and 3A open Saturday. Conference championships, both regular season and tournament, are still on the line this week as the prep season begins to wind down.
The week gets off to a busy start tonight when the Lewis and Clark Conference in Nebraska crowns its tournament champion. Action at Laurel pits Class C2 sixth-ranked Homer (18-2) and Class D2 second-ranked Wynot (18-2).
Homer, the 2011 C2 state champion, enters with nine straight wins. The Knights dealt Wynot a 46-35 loss earlier this season.
Wynot, the two-time defending state D2 champion, has won 10 in a row since falling to No. 1 (C2) Crofton on Dec. 29.
Each team has a prolific scorer in Homer junior Brandan Tighe and Wynot junior Maggie Schulte.
The boys championship game in Laurel sends unranked Bancroft-Rosalie (15-4) against Class D2 No. 3 Wausa. Bancroft-Rosalie upset fifth-ranked (D2) Wynot in a four-overtime semifinal while Wausa clipped Winnebago in the other semifinal.
The Panthers of veteran coach Mike Sjuts face two more state-ranked teams this week. Bancroft-Rosalie will travel to No. 1 (D1) Howells-Dodge on Tuesday before hosting No. 8 (D2) Lindsay Holy Family on Friday.
Estherville is the site of a key Lakes Conference girls basketball game Tuesday night. Western Christian’s girls, the defending Class 2A state champs, will look to finish an unbeaten conference season against third-ranked Estherville-Lincoln Central.
Brooke Wolterstorff leads the Wolfpack charge with a 13.7 scoring average. Allie Sievert leads Estherville-Lincoln Central at 14.7 points.
East's boys wrapped up their fourth straight and second outright Missouri River Activities Conference title on Friday with its win over Council Bluffs Thomas Jefferson. The Black Raiders were aided by Sergeant Bluff-Luton's upset win over North.
Still that doesn’t take any luster off Friday’s matchup at North. The Black Raiders will look to close out a second straight unbeaten 12-0 MRAC mark with a 28th straight conference victory.
Heelan's girls have clinched its third MRAC title in four seasons. Class 4A's top-ranked squad faces a key non-conference test tonight against South Sioux City.
Heelan senior MaKayla Augustine and South Sioux City senior Morgan Hansen continue their quest to reach the 1,000 career point plateau.