Sports, Thursday, February 6th

Written by Nathan Bloechl on February 6, 2020

By: Nathan Bloechl — sports@kilj.com

Prep Basketball:

The Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union has announced the 2020 State Basketball pairings.

In 1A, on February 13th:

  • New London at Holy Trinity — 7:00 p.m.
  • Hillcrest Academy at Lone Tree — 7:00 p.m.
  • Highland at Winfield-Mount Union — 7:00 p.m.
  • WACO at #11 Notre Dame — 7:00 p.m.

In 2A:

  • Cardinal at Danville — (Feb. 13th, 5:00 p.m.)
  • Louisa-Muscatine at #10 Van Buren (Feb. 18th, 7:00 p.m.)
  • Danville/Cardinal winner at #7 Mediapolis (Feb. 18th, 7:00 p.m.)

In 3A, on February 15th:

  • Davis County at West Burlington — 5:00 p.m.
  • Albia at Central Lee — 5:00 p.m.

The Mount Pleasant girls’ basketball team is also back at tonight as they welcome in the Grayhounds of Burlington High School. Tip-off at Mount Pleasant High School is set for 7:45 p.m.

Prep Football:

Today will be a big day for the state in terms of high school football. The Iowa High School Athletic Association is expected to release brand new districts for the upcoming football season.

It’s anyone’s guess where they’ll put Mount Pleasant, but in talks with officials from Mount Pleasant they still expect to play a heavy local schedule with SEC schools.

From there, the Panthers could travel north up the river with perhaps Davenport Assumption being an appealing target for the state to put in the Panthers district.

The tipping point will most likely be Solon.

Will the state break up Solon and keep them around the Iowa City area in 2020?

The new districts are expected to be announced sometime today on the Association website.

KILJ will monitor this story as the day progresses.

Mount Pleasant finished 6-3 last season, runners-up to Solon and Washington.

College Basketball:

The Iowa Wesleyan Tiger women’s basketball team pulled away in the fourth quarter to earn a 76-66 conference victory over Blackburn.

Maddie Williamson had 22 points to lead the Tigers, while Morgan McCrea scored 19 points to go along with 13 rebounds.

Allie Massner added 16 points for the Tiger women, who improved to 4-17 and 4-9 in conference play.

The Tiger women are back in action on Saturday at Eureka.

Tip-off is set for 1:00 p.m.

Meanwhile, the Tiger men fell 75-59 to Blackburn last night in their opportunity to pull to .500 in conference play.

The Tigers fell behind early and couldn’t climb out of the hole as the Beavers rode an 11-point lead at recess into the 16-point win.

Jake Neubauer led the Iowa Wesleyan with 26 points.

Alberto Torres had eight points off the bench.

The Tiger men are now 8-12 and 5-7 in conference play.

They’ll play the nightcap at Eureka this Saturday, with tip-off scheduled for 3:00 p.m.

Iowa State (9-13 overall, 2-7 Big 12): Iowa State struggled in a 76-61 loss to No. 13 West Virginia (18-4, 6-3). Rasir Bolton led the Cyclones with 18 points while Tyrese Haliburton had 12 points, five steals, five rebounds and three assists.

Iowa (16-7 overall, 7-5 Big Ten): Iowa got rocked in a 104-68 loss to Purdue (13-10, 6-6). Luka Garza scored 26 points but only had one rebounds for the Hawkeyes. The next highest scorer was Ryan Kriener, who finished with nine points.

Northern Iowa (20-3 overall, 9-2 MVC): The Panthers nabbed another road win, taking down Valparaiso (12-12, 5-6), 63-51. AJ Green had 19 points while Austin Phyfe finished with 10 points and 13 rebounds. Isaiah Brown chipped in 10 points, and Trae Berhow had six points and 11 rebounds.

Drake (16-8 overall, 6-5 MVC): Liam Robbins had 29 points, seven rebounds and three blocks for Drake in a 73-60 win over Bradley (15-9, 6-5). Garrett Sturtz added 12 points and seven rebounds, and Roman Penn finished with 10 points and five rebounds.

College Football:

Several in-state schools completed their 2020 football recruiting classes yesterday, as a part of National Signing Day.

Neither Iowa nor Iowa State have what recruiting experts say are top-25 classes.

Iowa’s 2020 class is #32 in the country, while Iowa State’s is #38 per ESPN recruiting.

Iowa’s class is anchored by four-star defensive tackle Logan Jones of Council Bluffs, Iowa and Lewis Central High School.

Jones was the top in-state prospect in 2020, choosing Iowa over Iowa State, Minnesota, Nebraska and Michigan State.

The Hawkeyes also feel as if they have their quarterback of the future in this year’s class with Deuce Hogan.

Hogan comes to Iowa with much fanfare after lighting up the Dallas, Texas suburbs at Faith Christian High School.

He choose Iowa over Baylor, Boston College, Georgia and Colorado.

Perhaps most interestingly, the Hawkeyes went down under for special teams help, inking Aussie punter Tory Talton.

Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz says it is getting more difficult to find punters in the United States.

It’s harder and harder to find punters, if there is any crazy, fanatical parents out there that want to train your sons to be a punter, you can play until you’re 40 if you’re any good” Ferentz joked.

Meanwhile, Iowa State’s class is headlined by top-300 quarterback Hunter Dekkers of West Sioux High School and Hawarden, Iowa.

Dekkers blew up the state over his time at West Sioux and is projected to be the guy following the departure of Brock Purdy in the coming seasons.

The Clones doubled on high ceiling quarterbacks in this year’s cycle securing a commitment from Aidan Bouman of Buffalo, Minnesota.

Bouman turned away his home-state Gophers in order to come to Iowa State.

Locally, Mount Pleasant played against several D1 players this year — namely Solon’s trio of Cam Miller, Jace Andregg and A.J. Coons.

That trio made things official yesterday, with Miller going to North Dakota State, Andregg to UNI and Coons to South Dakota State.

Former Mount Pleasant middle school standout Creighton Mitchell remained steadfast in his commitment to the University of North Dakota.