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North Mahaska, Grinnell Highlight Area Girls’ Basketball Teams in First Rankings

Basketball season is getting underway in the coming days for the girls and there are a handful of teams from the listening area that are in the initial rankings from the Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union.

In Class 1A, three teams from the South Iowa Cedar League were named. North Mahaska is a big surprise at #4 after a stellar 16-7 season last year with mostly freshman leading the way. Head Coach L.E. Moore and the Warhawks have state tournament experience but after a few down years, this year’s team will have high expectations to try to make it back with still a young core learning together.

Also in the Class 1A rankings are Montezuma and Lynnville-Sully. Montezuma went 17-7 last season under Cory Nikkel and will start this season at #9 under new Head Coach Janel Burgess. Their rivals from Lynnville-Sully had a great year last year, finishing 21-3. The Hawks start the year ranked #12.

In Class 4A, a couple of Little Hawkeye Conference teams made the list. Grinnell will start the year ranked 4th after a 19-5 season. The Tigers return several key players to that team for Head Coach Trent Edsen. Pella will also be a factor in the LHC, as they are ranked 10th after finishing 20-5 last season. Head Coach Jerod Garland will have to replace a couple of senior leaders, but there’s still plenty of talent for the Lady Dutch.

There are no area teams ranked in Class 2A, 3A, or 4A.

The No Coast Network will be releasing a full Game of the Week schedule later this week for the basketball season. The Game of the Week will air on 104.9 FM KBOE and kboeradio.com on Fridays throughout the season. Oskaloosa Basketball will be on 99.5 FM/740 AM KMZN and radiokmzn.com with video on MCG Channel 7 for most games, beginning on November 28 as the Indians travel to play Fairfield with the broadcast starting at 6 PM.

Post-Season Volleyball Action Has Commenced

It was a busy night in high school volleyball last night as Class 1A and 2A got their postseason play underway. 

In Class 1A Region 4, Montezuma dispatched North Mahaska in straight sets as heard on 104.9 FM KBOE and kboeradio.com. Monte struggled in the opening set as the Warhawks forced several errors with strong defense. The Bravettes had to stave off two set points before rallying for a 26-24 win in the first set. The wind went out of the sails for NM after that as Monte cruised in the second and third sets, 25-9 and 25-11. North Mahaska’s season ends at 13-16. 

Montezuma will host Grand View Christian next Monday in the quarterfinals of regional play. GVC dominated Melcher-Dallas in straight sets (25-9, 25-4, 25-6). Monte enters ranked #11 in the final Class 1A rankings and has a 30-5 record. GVC will enter unranked with a record of 25-22. 

Also in Region 4, Lynnville-Sully was ousted at home by Collins-Maxwell in a sweep (25-16, 25-13, 25-13). Their season ends with a record of 16-13. 

Region 6 produced a win for the area with a sweep for BGM. The Bears protected their home court with a win over Meskwaki Settlement School (25-16, 25-19, 25-23). That’s just the fourth win of the year for BGM, and all of them have occurred in the past six games. The next match for the 4-24 Bears will be on the road against #9 Iowa Valley, who has beaten BGM in their only meeting on October 2. That game is in Marengo on Monday, October 23 at 7 PM. 

Class 1A Region 7 saw English Valleys a sweep at home over Tri-County (25-18, 25-21, 25-13). EV moves into the quarters to face conference foe HLV, who is ranked #14 in the final rankings. Tri-County’s season ends with a record of 1-22. Keota lost in their match at Winfield-Mount Union in four sets (25-19, 25-21, 24-26, 27-25). That tight match ends their season at 2-20. 

In Region 8, Moravia had a tough battle against Moulton-Udell but survived to get the clean sweep (25-11, 29-27, 25-23). Moravia now faces #6 New London next Monday in the quarterfinals. In that same bracket, Twin Cedars fell to Seymour in straight sets (25-16, 25-17, 25-10). The Sabers finish the year at 3-16. 

Jumping into Class 2A, Pleasantville won their first-round match in Region 4. The Trojans got a sweep over Martensdale-St. Marys (25-21, 25-13, 25-19). They will now face #13 Des Moines Christian next Monday in Urbandale.  

In Region 5, Sigourney got a four-set win over Cardinal, as heard on 99.5 FM/740 AM KMZN and radiokmzn.com. Sigourney took the win at home by scores of 25-17, 25-22, 16-25, 25-23. The Savages now take on the Pekin Panthers in Packwood on Monday. Cardinal finishes their year with a record of 8-22. 

Also in the bottom of that bracket, Pella Christian picked up a win at home over Colfax-Mingo in straight sets (25-8, 25-13, 25-14). PC moves to the quarterfinals to face Van Meter on Monday on the road. 

More postseason action hits the court Wednesday night as the Class 3A, 4A, and 5A regions begin play. 

In Class 3A Region 6, PCM will go on the road to face West Marshall in State Center. In Region 8, Eddyville-Blakesburg-Fremont hosts Albia. Those matches begin at7 PM. 

Class 4A Region 4 is highlighted by Oskaloosa going on the road to face Knoxville. You can hear that match on 99.5 FM/740 AM KMZN and radiokmzn.com starting with the pregame show at 6:45 PM. In the bottom of that bracket, Newton plays at Carlisle. Region 6 sees Grinnell go on the road to face Clear Creek-Amana.  

Finally, in Class 5A, Ottumwa hosts Des Moines North in Region 5. All matches start at 7 PM. 

Large Schools Look for Momentum Heading Into Volleyball Playoffs

We are within a week of every school beginning their trek to the Volleyball State Tournament at the US Cellular Center in Cedar Rapids. The schools in Class 3A, Class 4A, and Class 5A will not have it easy to get there.

All first round games in these classes will be on Wednesday, October 18th at 7 PM.

In Class 3A Region 6, PCM (9-16) will have to go on the road to face West Marshall (27-10). The bracket is fairly loaded, so if PCM finds a way to get past West Marshall in the quarterfinals, #12 Iowa Falls-Alden could be awaiting them.

Staying in Class 3A, Region 8 involves four South Central Conference teams in the bottom half of the bracket. Eddyville-Blakesburg-Fremont (19-13) get Albia (10-19), a team they just beat in four sets on Tuesday night. Winner of that matchup will see either Davis County or Centerville. EBF has not lost to any of those teams all season.

Class 4A Region 4 is loaded with four area teams of the six in the bracket. Oskaloosa (11-17) will have to go on the road to play Knoxville (14-19). The Indians have made a habit out of winning road games in the playoffs. The two teams have not seen each other this season. You can hear that game live on 99.5 FM/740 AM KMZN and radiokmzn.com.

Awaiting them is #4 Pella (28-5) for the semifinals on Tuesday, October 24th. Pella hasn’t dropped a set in two matches with Knoxville this season and swept Oskaloosa in the only meeting between those two teams so far this year.

On the other side of the bracket, Newton (3-20) will be a big underdog on the road against Carlisle (12-13) in the first round. Bondurant-Farrar (17-10) awaits the winner in the second round. B-F is one of the few teams to beat Pella this year which could be a factor if those two teams hold serve and meet in the regional final.

Region 6 in Class 4A has Grinnell (8-19) on the road to face Clear Creek-Amana (19-16) as an underdog. Winner of that match will get #7 Center Point-Urbana (30-9) in the semifinals.

Finally, Ottumwa is our lone Class 5A school and they are in the Region 5 bracket. The Bulldogs (13-16) will host Des Moines North (0-19) in a fairly easy matchup. Should they take care of business there, they will go on the road to face #12 Waukee in the semifinals (23-18). #5 Linn-Mar and #15 Cedar Rapids Prairie are in the other semifinal in a loaded bracket.

The trek to state all begins with the first round, which will take place on Wednesday, October 18th at 7 PM. We will have continuing coverage of the brackets on the No Coast Network.

Oskaloosa Volleyball Falls on the Road To Grinnell

The Oskaloosa volleyball team was back in conference action on Tuesday night, but it didn’t end the way the Indians were hoping as they fell in straight sets on the road to Grinnell, 25-14, 25-23, 25-19.

Oskaloosa was behind the 8-ball early in all three sets, but battled back in the second and third sets to hang around until late. Several attack errors and an outstanding team defensive effort from the Tigers combined to frustrate several of the Indian attackers.

Josie Bunnell would get going late to log a game-high ten kills. Emily Richmond and Baylee Crawford both would have four kills in the match with Emma Kelderman adding three kills. Jolie Yang would serve up three aces for the Indians.

Grinnell had a very balanced offensive strategy. Junior Macy Harris led the way with nine kills in the game. Kiana Kies was a great option down the stretch for the Tigers, logging seven kills and two aces. Hope Nelson had six kills and Nicole Popp had five for the victors.

The win moves Grinnell to 4-3 overall and 1-1 in the Little Hawkeye Conference. They will next be in action next Tuesday, September 12th, on the road against Newton.

Oskaloosa falls to 3-7 overall on the season and 0-2 in Little Hawkeye Conference play. The Indians are back in action this Saturday against several teams at the Southeast Polk Tournament. Their next conference game will be next Tuesday, September 12th, at home against Dallas Center-Grimes. You can hear that game starting around 7 PM on 99.5 FM and 740 AM KMZN with a live video stream with the help of the Oskaloosa Video Production program on radiokmzn.com and MCG Channel 7 in Oskaloosa.

In other volleyball scores in the area Tuesday night:

Albia 25-25-25, Centerville 20-20-14
Central Lee, Donnellson 25-25-25, Cardinal, Eldon 17-11-13
HLV, Victor 22-26-25-25, Lynnville-Sully 25-24-19-19
Pekin 25-25-25, Louisa-Muscatine 16-12-11
Pella 25-15-25-23-15, Pella Christian 20-25-18-25-9
Southeast Polk 25-25-16-23-15, Ottumwa 14-21-25-25-6
EBF 22-25-25-25, Clarke 25-22-18-10

Oskaloosa Football Looking to Make It Back to the Playoffs in 2017

Yesterday, we took a look at the Game of the Week schedule for the football season, which will be heard on 104.9 FM KBOE, kboeradio.com, and the KBOE mobile app.

Today, we’ll take a peek at the Oskaloosa Indians football schedule, which as always, can be heard on 99.5 FM/740 AM KMZN, with live video on radiokmzn.com, and the KMZN mobile app.

Osky gets to open their season against their archrival Pella at home on August 25th. In case you’ve been under a rock the last few years, Pella has won the last three Class 3A state championships in football while going 41-0. If you go back to the start of the 2013 season, Pella is 52-1 on the gridiron.

While this seems daunting, Oskaloosa has improved in several aspects over the last few seasons and a great 7-3 year in 2016 under first year Head Coach Jake Jenkins gives the Indians a reason to hope for similar success in 2017. That all starts against a new cast of characters for the Little Dutch, who beat Osky Week 1 of the regular season and in the first round of the playoffs last year.

That Week 1 matchup will be a huge contest, but it is a non-district game, so it will have limited implications for the playoffs. Osky will follow that with a road game against Grinnell in Week 2, which the Indians should be favored.

The Indians start Class 3A District 5 play with a Week 3 matchup against Fort Madison at home, another game that Osky will be expected to win.

Week 4 will be a date with Mount Pleasant on the road, and while the Indians handled the Panthers last year, this game could get tricky. Same will be said for the Week 5 home matchup against Solon, who won the district last year.

Week 6 is another tricky road game against Fairfield followed by a Week 7 home game against Keokuk.

Washington gets to host Osky this year in Week 8 and they will be looking for revenge for their one point loss in Oskaloosa last year which kept them out of the playoffs.

The Oskaloosa regular season will wrap up on the road against West Burlington/Notre Dame.

Oskaloosa will likely need to win 6 of the final 7 games to comfortably secure a playoff berth for the second straight year, but that will be no easy feat. Several interesting road games mixed with a tough matchup against Solon at home will test the Indians.

If Osky does fall twice during district play and finds themselves on the outside looking in, that Pella game could loom large. A win in that game to snap the 41-game winning streak of the Dutch could go a long ways to helping Osky grab one of the two wild card playoff spots in Class 3A.

As mentioned, all of the action this season can be heard on 99.5 FM/740 AM KMZN with a live video stream on radiokmzn.com and the KMZN mobile app every Friday night with help from the Oskaloosa Video Production program at OHS and MCG. Pregame will start at 7 PM with kickoff every week at 7:30.

Baseball All-State Teams Announced By Coaches Association

It’s never easy to become an All-State athlete, but a few area baseball players received that honor, as the Iowa High School Baseball Coaches Association released their 2017 All-State Teams earlier this week.

In Class 1A, Twin Cedars senior Trace Embray was named to a utility position on the First Team. Embray pitched over 37 more innings than anyone else for the Sabers. He tossed 62 innings while going 8-2 with a superb .90 ERA while striking out 98 batters and walking only 19. Opponents only had a .150 batting average against him.

He was no slouch at the plate either, hitting .440 with 4 homers and 32 RBI. He also had a .567 on-base percentage, went 33 for 34 stealing bases, and struck out only twice in 75 at bats.

He is joined by a pair of area players on the Second Team: Moravia third baseman Tucker Babbit and Sigourney outfielder Avery Moore.

Babbit finished a great junior year in which he led Moravia with a .413 batting average and a .570 on-base percentage. He hit the only home run on the season for the Mohawks while driving in 23. He was also a thief on the basepaths, going 23 for 25 in swipes. He also did some work on the mound, going 4-2 with a 2.22 ERA as the #3 pitcher in the Moravia rotation.

Moore was a great multi-sport athlete and he wraps up his senior season with an All-State Second Team honor. Moore hit .477 in 2017, hitting a homer with 19 runs batted in. He went 35 for 35 in steals and reached base at a .578 clip. He scored 39 runs on the season in just 23 games for Sigourney.

There were no area players named in Class 2A, but there were four players from the area in Class 3A.

On the First Team, Pella’s junior catcher Jaden Rolffs and senior utility player Tyler Hillman were both honored.

Rolffs was the best hitter for the Dutch in 2017, batting .450 with a .522 on-base percentage. He hit 3 home runs with a team-leading 38 RBI. He also walked twice as many times as he struck out.

Hillman finished a great senior season where he was excellent on the mound while doing more than his share of damage at the plate. He went 5-3 with a 2.20 ERA as the Pella ace. At the dish he hit .400 with a team-leading 6 homers with 33 runs driven in. He had a .511 on-base percentage and walked a team-high 23 times.

On the All-State Second Team in Class 3A, Oskaloosa outfielder Tyler Miller and Grinnell shortstop Ethan Mitchell made the team.

Miller finished an outstanding freshman campaign that saw him lead the state qualifying Indians with a .444 batting average. He reached base at a .492 clip while driving in 22 runs. He also led the way in steals with a 23 for 27 mark.

Mitchell helped lead Grinnell’s bounceback season with a .409 average, a .485 on-base percentage, 2 homers, and 36 RBI, all team-highs. The junior was 11 for 13 in steals and also contributed on the mound with a 4-4 record and a 3.32 ERA.

Finally, Ottumwa senior Austin Shotts was named to the All-State Second Team in Class 4A as the third baseman. Shotts batted .476 with a .563 on-base percentage. He hit one homer with a team-leading 25 RBI. He walked 19 times to only 10 strikeouts and went 17 for 21 in stolen bases. He also went 4-2 on the mound with a 2.12 ERA.

It was a successful summer sports season and these players were the cream of the crop on the baseball diamond in our listening area.

Oskaloosa Quartet Highlights Class 3A and 4A All-District Teams

The baseball season was a memorable one for our listening area and the Iowa High School Baseball Coaches Association have released their All-District teams for 2017.

Today, we’ll take a look at the lists for Class 3A and 4A, with a look at Class 1A and 2A tomorrow.

In Class 3A, the Central District is chock full of area players, led by state qualifier Oskaloosa, who has four players honored.

On the First Team, Osky’s Bennett Spry had a great senior year, and he was listed as the second baseman. Freshman Tyler Miller led the Indians in batting with a .463 average and he was honored as an outfielder on the First Team.

Joining them on the top squad was Pella’s junior catcher Jaden Rolffs, who hit .449 this year. Pella’s Tyler Hillman was listed as a utility player with great batting and pitching numbers this season as a senior.

Knoxville made it to a district final this season, and three of their players were named to the first team. Third baseman Rylan Cox, outfielder Jacob Zuck, and utility Ben Wallace were all honored for their outstanding work for the South Central Conference Champions.

Rounding out the First Team is Grinnell shortstop Ethan Mitchell, who spearheaded a renaissance year for the Tigers.

On the Second Team, Oskaloosa has two more players who made the cut.

Sophomore pitcher Rian Yates had an outstanding season and was one of three pitchers on the team. He’s joined by outfielder Tucker Nunnikhoven, who batted nearly .400 this year while playing great defense.

Knoxville again is well represented with three more players on the second list. Catcher Patrick Crawford, first baseman Cam Liston, and utility Blake McClung were named to the Second Team, which puts two-thirds of the Panther lineup on the All-District Teams for 2017.

Pella’s Caleb Piersma and Grinnell’s Jayden Gibson round out the Second Teamers from our listening area. They are honored as a utility player and catcher, respectively.

In Class 4A, Ottumwa and Newton are the only teams from the area and both are represented in the South Central District.

On the First Team, Ottumwa’s junior catcher Tyler Ward and senior third baseman Austin Shotts received the honor. Ward hit .320 this year for the Bulldogs, while Shotts led the way hitting .480 to wrap up his stellar career.

On the Second Team, two more Bulldogs made the list. Pitcher Jaylon Jones went 5-2 in his junior campaign. He was joined by senior Kane Brumbaugh, who went 5-1 on the mound, including throwing a no-hitter. Brumbaugh was listed as a utility player.

Rounding out the list is Newton senior Trey Vanderlaan, who batted .342 and is listed as the first baseman on the Second Team.

While Oskaloosa was the only team from the area to make it to the State Baseball Tournament, Pella, Knoxville, Grinnell, and Ottumwa all had winning seasons, and Ottumwa played in a substate final.

Tomorrow, we’ll take a look at the Class 1A and 2A All-District Teams, which is full of players from several schools dotting the area.

Oskaloosa To Host Both Baseball District Rounds

The baseball brackets for Class 3A and 4A have been released and there aren’t many surprises involving area teams.

The Oskaloosa Indians (23-13) clinched the #1 seed in Class 3A District 12 and will host both of their district games. They draw Chariton (11-17) in the first round on Friday, July 14th at 7 PM. The same day at the Oskaloosa Baseball Field, the Knoxville Panthers (24-7) will face Pella (18-15) at 5 PM in the first game of the doubleheader.

Winners of those two games will face off in Oskaloosa in the District 12 Championship on Monday, July 17th at 7 PM.

In the sister district for District 12, District 11 involves Grinnell (19-14). The Tigers will face Benton (13-23) in the semifinals on July 14th at 5 PM. Their game will be followed by #3 Vinton-Shellsburg (31-3-1) and South Tama (5-26) at 7 PM. Those games are hosted by Vinton-Shellsburg.

The winners will play at Vinton-Shellsburg on Monday, July 17th at 7 PM in the District 11 Championship.

The real question mark coming from these districts was where the location would be for the Substate 6 Final, which would be played between the winners of District 11 and District 12 and would decide a state qualifier. The Iowa High School Athletic Association has spoken, and it will be played at the home field of Vinton-Shellsburg.

That would be quite the trip for Oskaloosa, as Vinton-Shellsburg High School is located an hour and forty minutes to the north. This will be the third consecutive year that Oskaloosa would have to travel to their likely opponents’ home field for a trip to state. In 2015 and 2016, Osky had to face Pella on their home field.

The Substate 6 Final will be played on Wednesday, July 19th at 7 PM.

In Class 4A, Newton (7-25) is in Substate 2 and their first opponent is Ankeny Centennial (23-13) in Ankeny at Northview Middle School on July 14th at 7 PM.

Ottumwa (22-13) is in Substate 3 in Class 4A, and they will host their first round game against Cedar Falls (16-15-1) on July 14th with the possibility of hosting the second round game as well in the six-team bracket.

We’ll have continuous coverage of postseason baseball on the No Coast Network. Be sure to check out any updates and scores on our websites, kboeradio.com and radiokmzn.com.

Newton, Washington Advance in First Round of Class 4A Softball Regionals

In regional softball action last night, several area teams attempted to punch their ticket to the semifinals in Class 4A.

In Class 4A Region 3, Pella was defeated by Norwalk, 6-2. Pella’s season ends with a record of 8-28. Norwalk will face Carlisle on the road Saturday night at 7 PM in the regional semis.

In Class 4A Region 5, Washington defeated Central DeWitt, 7-2. That locks in a third matchup between the Demons and #5 Oskaloosa. Those two teams split early in the season in Osky. This matchup will also occur at the Oskaloosa High School Softball Field. The first pitch is scheduled for 7 PM Saturday night and you can hear the live coverage on 99.5 FM/740 AM KMZN, radiokmzn.com, and the KMZN mobile app starting at 6:45 PM.

In Region 7 in Class 4A, Grinnell was dispatched by Cedar Rapids Xavier, 12-0. Grinnell’s season comes to a close with an 8-26 record.

Region 8 saw two area schools pitted against each other in Newton and Knoxville. Newton rode the home field advantage to a huge 11-1 victory to move into the regional semifinals against #2 Winterset on the road on Saturday night at 7 PM. Knoxville’s season ended with a record of 12-16.

Oskaloosa’s Boys Fall in District Semis to Grinnell

Oskaloosa got off to a rough start Monday night and never recovered, falling in Class 3A District 12 action to Little Hawkeye Conference foe Grinnell, 69-55.

The first quarter again turned out to be the dagger for the Indians, as several early turnovers and just one made field goal offensively allowed a red-hot Tiger squad to jump out to a 21-5 lead after one quarter of play.

Oskaloosa actually outscored Grinnell the rest of the way, but the damage was done, as the Indians would never get within 10 points after the first period.

Oskaloosa was led by sophomore Jarad Kruse, who put in 17 points and grabbed 7 rebounds.

Senior Wade Votroubek also had a nice game off the bench with 11 points.

Votroubek was key defensively, as his physicality with Grinnell leading scorer Cade McKnight forced the Tiger big man to get into foul trouble and never get into a rhythm. Typically, McKnight averages close to 19 points per game, and torched the Indians in both regular season meetings between the teams. But he only managed 6 points and 2 rebounds against the Osky frontline Monday night.

Fortunately for Grinnell, offense was plentiful elsewhere. Sam Allen led the way with 16 points and 9 rebounds. Zaine Leedom had 14, Lucas Scherf had 12, Ethan Mitchell had 10, and Brevin Hansen had 9 for the Tigers.

Grinnell (14-8) moves on to face Newton (14-8), who defeated South Tama last night, 70-52. That game will be Thursday in Marshalltown at 8 PM. The teams split their conference meetings in the Little Hawkeye this year.

Oskaloosa’s season comes to a close at 6-16, and the loss ends the careers of seniors Wade Votroubek and Austin Scholes.

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