The postseason is already off and running.
Area wrestlers competed at sectional meets last Saturday and three grapplers will be back in action this weekend looking for state tournament spots.
The Calamus-Wheatland girls basketball team, meanwhile, opened 1A regional play Thursday with a victory over Midland (a recap of that coming Wednesday).
This coming week will be the busiest one yet. With the Warriors’ victory, three postseason contests are set for Tuesday — Cal-Wheat against Central City in a 1A regional quarterfinal, Northeast girls basketball battling Bellevue in a 2A regional quarterfinal and the Central DeWitt bowling team competing in a 1A state-qualifying meet.
And that is just some of the action as the Northeast and Cal-Wheat boys basketball teams are set to start district play that week. So, too, is the Central DeWitt girls basketball team.
All, while the state wrestling tournament runs from Thursday to Saturday.
Rebels open with Tipton
The Northeast boys basketball team kicks things off on Monday with a 2A District 8 quarterfinal against Tipton.
The Rebels and Tigers will kick off a doubleheader at Cascade with tip-off set for 6:30 p.m. (the hosting Cougars will face off against Bellevue in another quarterfinal for the nightcap).
Northeast (12-9) and Tipton (9-12) met in the regular season back in December with the Rebels limiting the Tigers to just 30 points in a 55-30 rout.
It was the second-fewest points Tipton has scored this season and the Tigers have been hot on the offensive end lately, averaging 76.3 points per game in their past six games.
A stiff test awaits the winner on Thursday as Monticello earned the top seed in the district and is set to host the semifinal meeting.
The Panthers are 18-2 and have won their last nine games, highlighted by a 49-45 victory over fifth-ranked Camanche.
Defense has reigned in Monticello’s two meetings with the Rebels as neither of the games saw a team score 50 points.
Iowa City Regina (13-6) earned the other bye in District 8, while Beckman Catholic (15-5) earned the top seed in District 7, the other district in 2A Substate 4.
Warriors to face Lions
The Rebels’ potential meeting with Monticello would come on the same day — Thursday — the Cal-Wheat boys open their postseason with a 1A District 7 quarterfinal against Lone Tree.
Like Northeast’s district opener with Tipton, the Warriors and Lions will be in the opening game of a doubleheader hosted by North Cedar (the Knights will face Lisbon in the nightcap).
Cal-Wheat (11-10) and Lone Tree (12-9) have not met since 2017 and compete in different conferences — the Tri-Rivers Conference and Southeast Iowa Super Conference, respectively.
A victory would likely set up a semifinal contest against top-seeded Springville (the Orioles will face the winner of Morning Star Academy and Midland in their quarterfinal) in the first game of another doubleheader hosted by Highland (Riverside) on Tuesday, Feb. 25.
Springville (16-4) and Cal-Wheat did meet this winter with the Orioles winning a high-scoring 76-63.
The Warriors, in fact, have faced each of their potential semifinal foes, sweeping Midland and dropping a last-second non-conference contest to Morning Star Academy.
Highland (18-4), the host of the semifinal, earned the second seed in the district, while WACO (21-0, ranked No. 2 in 1A) is the top seed in District 8, which is matched with District 7 in the substate.
Rematches loom for Sabers
As the second seed in 4A Region 4, the Central DeWitt girls basketball team will have to wait to know their opponent for Saturday’s semifinal.
It will be a familiar WaMaC East foe, no matter what, as Maquoketa (16-5, No. 15 in 4A) hosts West Delaware (2-18) in Wednesday’s quarterfinal.
The Cardinals won their two regular season meetings against the Hawks by an average of 21 points and will be the favorite to earn a third game against the Sabers.
Central DeWitt (17-3, No. 10 in 4A) will host either foe Saturday and is 4-0 against both squads this winter, winning three of the four contests by double-digits (the lone exception was a 48-44 road win over Maquoketa earlier this month).
A win Saturday would send the Sabers to the regional final Tuesday and a potential rematch with top-seeded Center Point-Urbana.
The reigning 3A champion, the Stormin’ Pointers (19-1, No. 4 in 4A) rallied back from a six-point fourth-quarter deficit in January’s regular season meeting between the two teams to earn a 49-47 victory.
Center Point-Urbana has won 41 of its past 43 games with the only two losses during that stretch both coming to 4A No. 2 Marion.