Sports, Friday, February 28th

Written by Nathan Bloechl on February 28, 2020

By: Nathan Bloechl — sports@kilj.com 

Mount Pleasant Fights, Falls to Assumption:

The Mount Pleasant Panther boys’ basketball gave top-seeded and third-ranked Davenport Assumption everything they could handle and then some.

But at the end of the night, Assumption’s star forward Sean Peeters was the difference as the Knights stormed back in the fourth quarter to defeat Mount Pleasant 64-54 in a Class 3A-5 Substate Semifinal.

Well, I’m always proud of them. We’re usually undersized, physically, our size doesn’t match up. But they’re a resilient group” head coach Caleb Akey explained.

The Panthers took halftime and third-quarter leads by two and one respectively, as Assumption fans looked on with baited breath.

Part of the reason for those leads was the play of senior forward Brody Bender and junior Brevin Wilson.

Bender canned three big three pointers, while Wilson was aggressive as ever on the offensive side of the floor penetrating what looked like a steel trap of a defense for Assumption.

Leading by as many as five in the third quarter, Mount Pleasant saw Assumption lead a 25-14 fourth quarter assault to pull ahead and away.

Peeters had 28 points and five rebounds to lead the Knights, while Bill Flaherty chipped in with 10 for Assumption.

With the win Assumption moves on to Monday’s Substate Final, where they’ll meet up with Clear Creek-Amana (18-5) for the right to move on to state.

Mount Pleasant closes their season with a record of 12-11.

It also closes a chapter in Akey’s life as he’s coached this group of seniors since they were third graders playing in the youth leagues of Mount Pleasant.

“They’re a group of fantastic young men. They’re not rattled by anything, we might be undermanned, you might be outgunned but if you keep level-headed you’ll have a chance.”

Looking in 1A, Pekin is advancing to a substate final as they took down New London 59-49 in a district final at Mediapolis last night.

Pekin will battle Springville at 7:00 p.m. Saturday night at Iowa City West High School with a state berth on the line.

New London led by as much as five in the first half but Pekin was able to claw back in a big way, ending the second quarter on a 13-3 run to secure a nine-point, 35-26 halftime lead.

That lead was stretched out to twelve in the second half before New London raced back in the fourth quarter to take a 47-46 lead over the Panthers.

Then Pekin got hot, ending the night on a 13-2 run.

Braden Sobaski had 17 points while Brady Millikin had 16 for Pekin.

New London was led by freshman guard Blaise Porter who had 20 points, while Grant Swanson finished with 19.

New London closes their season with a record of 16-8.

The IGHSAU has announced their pairings for all classes at the State Tournament beginning next Monday.

In 5A:

  • #2 Iowa City High vs. #7 Cedar Rapids Prairie
  • #3 Johnston vs. #6 SE Polk
  • #1 Waukee vs. #8 Sioux City East
  • #4 Cedar Falls vs. #5 Waterloo West

4A:

  • #1 North Scott vs. #8 Clear Creek-Amana
  • #4 Center Point-Urbana vs. #5 Waverly Shell-Rock
  • #2 Glenwood vs. #7 Gilbert
  • #3 Ballard vs. #6 Lewis Central

3A:

  • #1 Dike-New Hartford vs. #8 Jesup
  • #4 Red Oak vs. #5 North Polk
  • #2 Clear Lake vs. #7 Davenport Assumption
  • #3 Bishop Heelan vs. Des Moines Christian

2A:

  • #1 Cascade vs. #8 Denver
  • #4 Osage vs. #5 West Branch
  • #2 West Hancock vs. #7 Lo-Ma
  • #3 North Linn vs. #6 Western Christian

1A:

  • #1 Newell-Fonda vs. #8 St. Albert
  • #4 Montezuma vs. #5 Saint Ansgar
  • #2 Marquette Catholic vs. #7 Gehlen Catholic
  • #3 Bishop Garrigan vs. #6 Martensdale-St.Mary’s

Bender Makes Commitment to Central:

Mount Pleasant senior Brody Bender made his commitment to Central College yesterday official.

Bender, a 6’4 signal-caller, will don the red and white of the Dutch next year in the American Rivers Conference.

Bender was a one-year starter under head coach Shawn Striegel where he threw for over 1,620 yards to go along with 21 touchdowns and just five interceptions.

Iowa Wrestling:

Iowa’s Spencer Lee and Michael Kemerer are No. 1 in the NCAA Coaches’ Rankings while Pat Lugo earned the top RPI in the Division I Individual rankings, released by the NCAA on Thursday.

Lee is the top-ranked 125-pounder and 15-0 this season.

Kemerer is 13-0 and the top-ranked 174-pounder.

They lead a group of eight Hawkeyes ranked in the top three.

Each of Iowa’s 10 postseason wrestlers are ranked in the top 10 of the Coaches’ Rankings.

The Big Ten hosts its qualifying tournament March 7-8 in Piscataway, New Jersey.  It is one of seven qualifying tournaments across the country.

After all of the conference tournaments have concluded, the NCAA Division I Wrestling Committee will meet in-person to select the remaining 47 at-large qualifiers, which will be announced on March 10, while brackets and seeding will be announced on NCAA.com at 5 p.m. (CT) on March 11. All weight classes will consist of 33 wrestlers.