Breaking Down the Class 2A Girls Basketball Regional Final Between Regina and Mediapolis
Your Prep Sports
The state tournament field is almost set.
Qualifiers are locked in for the three largest classes with Classes 1A and 2A playing regional finals on Thursday.
All 16 regional finals in the two smallest classes in Iowa were scheduled for Wednesday but moved to Thursday due to winter weather.
Fifth-ranked Regina is seeking a second consecutive state tournament trip and will face Mediapolis in a regional final for the second consecutive season on Thursday at Muscatine High School.
Here is a quick look at the Region 6 title game between Regina and Muscatine.
Class 2A, Region 6
No. 5 Regina (20-4) vs. No. 12 Mediapolis (20-3)
When: Thursday, 7 p.m.
Where: Muscatine High School
Statistical leaders: Regina – Morgan Miller, 5-6, Soph., 17.7 points, 4.9 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 steals. Alli Clark, 5-7, Jr., 14.8 points, 4.2 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 2 steals.
Mediapolis – Payton Bush, 5-3, Sr., 15 points, 4.2 assists, 3.3 steals, 2.2 rebounds. Liz Lane, 5-10, Sr., 10.9 points, 8 rebounds, 1.7 blocks, 1.6 assists.
About the Regals: Regina is seeking consecutive trips to the state tournament after qualifying for the first time since 2018 last year.
Regina is unbeaten against Class 2A competition this season with its losses coming to 3A state qualifiers Solon and Benton Community and 1A third-ranked North Linn.
The Regals are making their fourth consecutive regional title game appearance and have followed a familiar path back to the regional championship defeating River Valley Conference South Division foes Durant (77-51) and Wilton (63-36) each for a third time this season.
Regina will now face another familiar postseason foe in Mediapolis after defeating the Bulldogs in regional play each of the past two seasons.
The Regals defeated Mediapolis 54-49 in a regional semifinal in 2021 and downed the Bulldogs 63-51 in the regional title game last season.
Regina has relied heavily on its talented backcourt this season with senior Grace Gaarde, junior Alli Clark and sophomore Morgan Miller combining to average better than 41 points per game.
Miller leads the Regals with 17.7 points per game while Clark is averaging 14.8 and Gaarde 9.1.
Senior Dani Laughlin is averaging 6.9 points per game and sophomore Ella McLaughlin is adding 5.9 per game.
About the Bulldogs: Among the most consistent teams in Class 2A over the last half decade Mediapolis has won 20 games for the fourth time in the past five seasons but is seeking its first state tournament appearance since 2015.
The Bulldogs enter the regional title game riding a seven-game winning streak after defeating Danville for the third time this season 52-46 in the Region 6 semifinals.
Mediapolis has two losses to in-state competition this season to West Burlington and 1A seventh-ranked Winfield-Mount Union but avenged both of those losses while winning 12 of its last 13 games.
The Bulldogs have used balanced scoring to average 62 points per game this season with four players averaging in double figures.
Bush leads the Bulldogs with 15 points per game and leads Class 2A with four made 3-pointers per contest.
Lane adds 10.9 points per game while junior Hanna Wagenbach is averaging 10.8 points and 6.6 rebounds per game and Haley Steffener is averaging 10.6 points, 6.5 rebounds and 5 assists per game.
Mediapolis ranks third in 2A with 17.6 assists per game recording assists on 336 of its 578 made field goals this season.
Who to watch: Regina – Miller has emerged as one of the top players in 2A with a breakthrough sophomore season in which she has led Regina in scoring (17.7), rebounding (4.9) and steals (3) while ranking second on the team in assists (4).
The 5-foot-6 Miller is shooting 54 percent from the field including a 2A-best 45 percent from 3-point range while leading the Regals with 71 made 3-pointers.
Miller has scored in double figures in 10 straight games, scoring 20 or more points in half of those games and is averaging 18.9 points per game over that span.
Mediapolis – The Bulldogs rely on their offensive balance but senior Payton Bush is the player that makes it all go on offense.
The 5-foot-3 Bush is averaging a team-high 15 points per game and leads 2A with four made 3-poitners per game.
A four-year contributor, Bush has 202 career 3-pointers and is shooting 44 percent from beyond the 3-point line this season on 208 attempts.
What to watch: These teams are familiar with one another after playing in the regional final last season and with both teams returning four starters from that team.
The stats from Regina’s 63-51 reginal final win last season were relatively even across the board with the exception for shooting percentage.
Regina shot 54 percent in the win last season while Mediapolis shot 42 percent.
The key to the high percentage for Regina was high percentage shots, often coming in transition.
Clark and Gaarde combined for 35 points on combined 13-of-20 shooting in the win over Mediapolis last season with many of those attempts coming in transition.
Look for Mediapolis to attempt to control the pace in this year’s rematch which starts with limiting turnovers and keeping Regina from getting out and running.
The Breakdown: Two familiar opponents that share similarities makes for one of the more intriguing matchups among the 2A regional finals.
Regina has won each of the previous two postseason matchups between the two teams including a 63-51 win in the regional title game at Muscatine last season.
Both teams rely on strong back courts and perimeter shooting ranking second and third in 2A in made 3-pointers with each team hitting 7.3 3-pointers per game.
The difference in this game could be defense and rebounding.
Regina is holding opponents to 45.1 points per game while Mediapolis is allowing 41 points per game.
Not allowing offensive rebounds that lead to second chance points will be important for both teams especially in a game which will likely feature plenty of perimeter shots that lead to potential long rebounds.
Did you enjoy this subscription free article? Help keep Your Prep Sports free by donating.