It was a night of celebration and agony in the Mahaska Zone Network listening area in a busy night in girls’ basketball.
Regional finals occurred all over the state in Class 1A and Class 2A. A trio of area teams competed for the chance to play at Wells Fargo Arena in next week’s State Girls’ Basketball Tournament. Unfortunately, only one of the three came out victorious.
That team was Pekin, as the Panthers dominated down the stretch to get a 55-36 win over #11 Van Meter in the Class 2A Region 5 Final. Pekin has been ranked in the top five all season, and will now advance to the state tournament with a record of 24-1.
The Panthers’ state run will begin on Monday, February 29th, at 6:45 PM. Head Coach Davis Eidahl’s squad will matchup against Okoboji, who is 23-1 on the year, and ranked #5 in the state in Class 2A.
In Class 1A, both area teams fell just short of realizing their state dreams.
In Class 1A Region 3, #14 Lynnville-Sully had a fourth quarter lead, but couldn’t hold off a hard charging #5 Kee, falling in overtime, 61-58. The Hawks took a four-point lead into the final stanza, but Kee forced the extra session, and led by as many as eight, making several key free throws to ice the victory. Lynnville-Sully’s season comes to a close at 21-3.
#9 Montezuma had even a tougher task, as they took on #3 Springville. Monte wouldn’t go away, but could never get over the hump, falling 41-37 in North English in the Class 1A Region 5 Final. Montezuma had a stellar season, improving from a losing season a year ago, to getting a South Iowa Cedar League Championship and finishing at 22-2.
Pekin joins Mid-Prairie, who qualified for the Class 3A State Tournament last Saturday with a win over South Tama in Oskaloosa. The # 14 Golden Hawks (16-8) will play their first state tournament game on Tuesday, March 1, at 3:15 PM against #2 Center Point-Urbana (23-1) at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines.