Your Prep Sports
Eight teams have already earned spots at the girls state basketball tournament that runs from March 1-6 at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines.
The field is set in Class 3A.
On Tuesday 16 more state qualifiers will be determined with regional finals in Class 4A and 5A going on around the state.
Here is a quick look at the two Class 5A Regional finals featuring Your Prep Sports area squads.
Class 5A, Region 3
No. 12 City High (10-4) at No. 3 Waterloo West (18-1)
When: Tuesday, 7 p.m.
Where: Waterloo West High School
Top Players: City High – Kelsey Joens, 5-10, Soph., 19.3 points, 5.6 rebounds, 3.4 assists. Eviyon Richardson, 5-10, Jr., 14.8 points, 7.8 rebounds, 2.8 assists. Waterloo West – Halli Poock, 5-6, Soph., 21 points, 5.6 assists, 4.3 steals; Sahara Williams, 5-11, Soph., 19.9 points, 4.7 assists, 4.0 steals.
About the Wahawks: Waterloo West enters as one of the hottest teams in Class 5A riding a 17-game winning streak that features three wins over top-10 teams.
The Wahawks snapped a five-year state tournament drought last season edging Urbandale by a point in the regional final before advancing to the 5A state semifinals.
With four starters back from last year’s state semifinal squad the Wahawks are anticipating another deep postseason run.
Waterloo West features one of the top scoring tandems in the state in sophomores Halli Poock and Sahara Williams.
The duo combines for just under 41 points per game with Poock (21) ranking fourth and Williams (19.9) ranking fifth in 5A in scoring.
Both Poock and Williams are in the top five in assists and steals with Poock leading 5A in both categories averaging 5.6 assists and 4.3 steals per game.
They have help offensively in the form of junior Brooklyn Smith who averages 9.5 points per game and senior Gabby Moore who adds 8.6.
About the Little Hawks: City High went 19 days between games at the end of January and February but hasn’t lost since returning to action on February 12.
The Little Hawks closed the regular season with wins over Linn-Mar and Cedar Rapids Jefferson and rallied to beat Muscatine 55-45 in the Region 3 semifinal on Saturday.
Tuesday’s regional final will off the stiffest test for City High since back-to-back games against West High and West Des Moines Valley in its final two games before the 19-day layoff.
City High has proven it can compete with anyone but the Little Hawks will need their first win of the season over a ranked 5A foe to return to stretch its state tournament streak to five.
The Little Hawks have their own impressive duo in sophomore Kelsey Joens and junior Eviyon Richardson.
Joens is averaging a team-high 19.3 points per game while Richardson is averaging 14.8 points and 7.8 rebounds per game. Both will need to be on top of their game on Tuesday.
A key for City High is senior Ella Cook.
A four-year varsity player and three-year starter Cook has more postseason experience than anyone else in this game and is averaging 12.9 points and 6.4 rebounds per game.
What to Watch: The pace of this game could border on frantic at times.
Both teams are loaded with talented offensive players that can flat out fill it up and like to get up and down the court.
It’s easy to point to defense as the key to this game but with all the offensive talent on the court in this one stringing together stops is going to be a challenge.
A deciding factor could be which side is more efficient offensively and that means managing the pace of the game and taking care of the ball.
As these teams start getting up and down which side can better stay under control?
City High has been good taking care of the ball, averaging 10 turnovers per game compared to 16.1 for Waterloo West.
Neither team can give away scoring opportunities in a game that expects to come down to the wire.
Class 5A, Region6
No. 13 Davenport North (11-1) at No. 6 West High (12-3)
When: Tuesday, 7 p.m.
Where: West High
Top Players: West High – Audrey Koch, 5-10, Sr., 19.2 points, 5.8 rebounds, 2.3 steals; Matayia Tellis, 5-5, Sr., 10.9 points, 3.9 rebounds, 3.3 assists. Davenport North – Bella Sims, 5-4, Sr., 14.6 points, 4.1 rebounds, 4 assists. Kyra Taylor, 5-9, Fr., 8 points, 4.9 rebounds, 1.3 assists.
About the Trojans: It has been an interesting season for West High which didn’t play a game until December 18, played twice before January and had a two-week break between games from January 23 to February 6.
However, just as they seem to do every season the Trojans are playing well at the right time.
West High lost three straight to ranked opponents in January but has rattled off 10 consecutive wins after holding off Davenport Central 53-43 in the regional semifinals on Saturday.
The current 10-game winning streak for West High also features wins over ranked teams Cedar Rapids Kennedy, City High and Cedar Falls.
Seniors Koch and Tellis make it all go for West High but the Trojans trademark balance has been key during its recent success.
Four players average more than seven points per game with junior Emma Ingersoll-Weng putting up 9.2 per game and sophomore guard Meena Tate adding 7.9 but sophomore Anna Prouty (4.9), senior Jenna Saunders (4.6) and freshman Lucy Wolfe (3) and Melae’ Lacy (3.4) have all had big moments.
West High is seeking its first state tournament trip since 2018 after dropping regional final road games each of the past two seasons.
The Trojans will look to benefit from its first home regional final since 2017.
About the Wildcats: Davenport North enters on a roll.
The Wildcats have won nine straight and avenged their lone loss of the season with a 59-53 win over Bettendorf in the Region 6 semifinals.
Similar to West High, Davenport North has dealt with stops and starts in its season.
The Wildcats played once in December and its lone loss of the season to Bettendorf on January 19 was just its third game.
Once Davenport North began playing regularly the Wildcats have been impressive rattling off nine wins in a row.
Four Wildcats average better than 7.5 points per game led by Sims with 14.6 and Sims, Taylor and senior Me’Kiyah Harris each had 14 points in the regional semifinal win over Bettendorf.
Harris ranks second on the team with 9.4 points per game while Jordan Burch averages 7.5 points and 3.8 rebounds and Senior Ivy Wilmington is averaging 6.2 points and 3.8 rebounds per game.
Davenport North is seeking its second ever trip to the state tournament and first since 2016.
What to Watch: There are a lot of elements that figure to factor in to which team celebrates a state tournament berth on Tuesday evening but in relatively even matchup 3-point shooting could be a big factor.
Both teams feature guard-heavy lineups and have a penchant for shooting from the perimeter.
The 3-point numbers for both teams are fairly even.
West High averages 20.7 3-point attempts per game, making an averaging of 6.9 from beyond the arc for 33 percent.
Davenport North is shooting at a 37 percent clip from deep on the season, attempting 21 3-pointers per game and making 7.7.
In its loss to Bettendorf in January Davenport North went 1-of-19 from beyond the arc but hit 7-of-26 in its regional final win.
Shooting the 3 and defending the perimeter could determine which team heads to Des Moines.