By Ryan Murken
Your Prep Sports
No. 1 Regina (25-0) vs. No. 12 Logan-Magnolia (21-3)
The road to the first state title game appearance in program history for Regina begins with a matchup against state tournament newcomer Logan-Magnolia.
Regina is making its third straight trip to state after falling in the semifinals to two-time champion Unity Christian last season.
The Regals have held the number one spot in the 1A rankings since the preseason and enter the state tournament unbeaten for the second straight year.
Regina ranks fourth in the state in scoring at 71.6 points per game, sixth in field goal percentage at 49.6 and hasn’t played a game closer than 12 points this season.
Logan-Magnolia defeated No. 11 Mount Ayr 62-42 in the regional final to reach the state tournament for the first time in program history.
Two of the three losses for Logan-Magnolia were to second-ranked and unbeaten Treynor with the other loss coming against No. 15 IKM-Manning.
No. 4 Western Christian (22-2) vs. No. 5 North Linn (24-1)
One of the most intriguing opening-round games pairs the 2A runner-up finishers from the past two seasons.
North Linn fell to Unity Christian in the 2015 title game while Western Christian dropped a 42-41 contest to the Knights in last year’s title game.
Western Christian is making its sixth straight appearance at the state tournament and has played for the state title in four of its last five trips, winning three consecutive crowns from 2012 to 2014.
The lone team to defeat the Wolfpack outside of the state title game during that string was North Linn, who edged Western Christian in the 2015 semifinals.
Western Christian enters the state tournament riding a 10-game winning streak and has scored at least 63 points in every game during that stretch.
The only two losses for Western this season have come to Class 3A top-ranked Sioux Center and 4A No. 10 LeMars.
North Linn is making its third trip to state in the past four seasons and enters as the top defensive team in the 2A field, allowing just 29.6 points per game.
The Lynx have held opponents to less than 30 points 13 times this season, including the regional final when they limited Rockford to 18 points.
No. 2 Treynor (25-0) vs. No. 10 Van Meter (21-3)
Treynor has been impressive on its way to its first state tournament appearance since 2008, winning games by an average of 30.4 points.
The Cardinals have not had a game decided by single digits and defeated ninth-ranked West Sioux 74-52 in the regional final.
With all five starters over 5-foot-9 the Cardinals have length at every position and use it well, averaging 35.5 rebounds per game to top the 2A field.
Van Meter is seeking its first ever state tournament win in its third trip to state and first since 2001.
The Bulldogs avenged two of their regular season losses to sixth-ranked Panorama with a 39-38 win in the regional final.
Van Meter is the lowest scoring team in the 2A field, averaging 51.4 points per game but enters the state tournament allowing 34.5 points per contest, third best among 2A participants.
The Bulldogs have allowed more than 40 points just once during their current seven-game win streak.
No. 3 Central Decatur (24-0) vs. No. 8 Cascade (22-2)
Expect a stark contrast in style in this one as one of the top scoring teams in the state matches up with one of the best defensive teams around.
Central Decatur enters state tournament play third in the state scoring 71.8 points per game while Cascade is holding opponents to 36.4 points per game and has allowed more than 46 points just twice this season.
The opening round foes also have vastly different histories of state tournament success.
Cascade had a string of four consecutive state quarterfinal wins snapped with an opening-round loss to Unity Christian in 2015.
Prior to that loss the Cougars had appeared in the state semifinals in every state tournament appearance including a runner-up finish in 2009.
Central Decatur is 0-3 in state quarterfinals following a 61-50 loss to Western Christian last year.
This could be the season the Cardinals get over the hump.
Central Decatur has been impressive all season, outscoring opponents by an averaging of 41.7 points per game, the third highest margin in the state.
The Cardinals haven’t had a game closer than 20 points this season and are holding opponents to 30.2 points per game.
REGINA: Mary Crompton, 5-8, Jr. Ranks fourth in the state in both made 3-pointers (74) and 3-point percentage (49.3) while averaging a team-high 18.7 points per game.
WESTERN CHRISTIAN: Ashtyn Veerbeek, 6-2, Jr. Nebraska recruit averages a double-double with a 2A best 23.1 points and 11.1 rebounds per game.
TREYNOR: Madelyn Deitchler, 5-10, Jr. Gets to the free throw line better than any other player at the 2A tournament (167 attempts), helping her average a team-high 16 points per game.
VAN METER: Mackenzie Roberts, 5-9, Sr. The lone Bulldog double digit scorer averages 16.9 points and adds a team-best 9 rebounds per game.
NORTH LINN: Ashley Tull, 5-11, Jr. Three-year starter leads the Lynx in scoring (15.1), rebounds (8.3), steals (4.3) and blocks (2.8).
CASCADE: Nicole McDermott 5-5, Fr. First-year point guard leads the Cougars in assists (3) and steals (2.7) and ranks second in scoring (10.9).
CENTRAL DECATUR: Alli Masters, 5-11, Soph. Does a little bit of everything averaging 14.3 points and leading the Cardinals in rebounds (7), assists (4), steals (3.9) and blocks (1.6).
Logan-Magnolia: Kenzie Cunard, 5-6, Jr. Second in the 2A field in scoring at 18.9 points per game and also leads the Panthers in rebounds with six per game.
Regina (25-0) is trying to go wire-to-wire as the top team in 2A and has the firepower to win the first title in program history.
Either perennial power Western Christian (22-2) or 2015 runner-up North Linn (24-1) would await the Regals in the semifinal if they advance.
Treynor (25-0) and Central Decatur (24-0) have been among the most impressive teams in the state on their way to the state tournament and should battle in the other semifinal.
With three unbeaten teams and the last two runner-up finishers all in the field there are plenty of teams capable of hoisting the 2A trophy on Friday night.
Top-ranked Regina joins second-ranked Treynor and No. 3 Central Decatur as the three unbeaten teams in the 2A field.
You can never count out Western Christian, who has appeared in four of the last five 2A title games winning a trio of titles.
There will be a new champion in 2A with two-time defending champ Unity Christian falling to Western Christian in the regional tournament.
So, the question is who takes over in 2A?
Western Christian won three straight titles from 2012-2014 and joins Treynor as the only team in the 2A field to win a state title.
The Cardinals won the Class 1A title in 1994.
Regina, Central Decatur and North Linn are among the contenders that are chasing their first titles.
Five Fast Facts
* – Half of the undefeated teams at the state tournament are in the Class 2A. Central Decatur (24-0), Treynor (25-0) and Regina (25-0) give the 2A field two more unbeatens than any other class. Indianola (5A), Sioux Center (3A) and Janesville (1A) are the other unbeaten teams entering the state tournament.
* – The eight teams in the Class 2A field combined for just 11 losses this season, the fewest among any of the five classes at the state tournament. Only the 1A field, with 17 combined losses had less than 20 losses among its eight teams.
* – Regina is the only team in any class at the state tournament with three players averaging more than 15 points per game. Mary Crompton (18.7), Sarah Lehman (15.3) and Alex Wiese (15.3) all top the 15 point per game mark.
* – Western Christian junior Ashtyn Veerbeek has posted a double-double in nine consecutive games entering the state tournament after a 34-point, 14-rebound performance in a regional final win over Rock Valley. The 6-foot-2 forward has 17 double-doubles in 23 games this season.
* – Regina is one of only two teams at the state tournament with a player with 450 points, a player with 200 rebounds and a player with 100 assists. Junior Mary Crompton has scored 467 points for Regina, sophomore Alex Wiese has 228 rebounds and junior Greyson Dumont has 124 assists. The only other state tournament team with that trifecta is Janesville in Class 1A where senior Tori Hazard notched all three with 487 points, 211 rebounds and 139 assists.
Regina (25-0) vs. Logan-Magnolia (21-3), 5 p.m.
Western Christian (22-2) vs. North Linn (24-1), 6:45 p.m.
Treynor (25-0) vs. Van Meter (21-3), 8:30 p.m.
Central Decatur (24-0) vs. Cascade (22-2), 10 a.m.
Regina/Logan-Magnolia winner vs. Western Christian/North Linn winner, 1:30 p.m.
Treynor/Van Meter winner vs. Central Decatur/Cascade winner, 3:15 p.m.
Semifinal winners, 8 p.m.