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Your Prep Sports
There is no easing into the postseason for West Branch.
The Bears host 14-win Louisa-Muscatine in its Class 2A, Region 5 opener on Saturday.
West Branch closes the regular season on Thursday with a non-conference contest at Clear Creek Amana but has been playing its best basketball of the season over the last month.
The Bears have won six of their last seven with the only loss coming at 2A seventh-ranked Regina.
Louisa-Muscatine is led by the duo of Kylee Sanders and Mariah Pugh.
A 5-foot-11 junior Pugh leads the Falcons with 13.3 points and 11.1 rebounds per game while Sanders, a 5-foot-7 freshman averages 12.8 points per game.
City High at Cedar Rapids Washington: A trip to 5A No. 13 Cedar Rapids Washington on Tuesday is the top remaining hurdle standing between top-ranked City High and its first unbeaten regular season since 2013-2014.
West Branch at Clear Creek Amana: Both teams try to grab some momentum heading into the postseason with a non-conference win on Thursday in Tiffin.
Solon at Mount Vernon: The Spartans open postseason play on Saturday and can get a boost entering Regional play with a win over the rival Mustangs on Tuesday.
Rice is the engine that drives top-ranked and unbeaten Marion.
The 5-foot-10 St. Louis University recruit is Marion’s second leading scorer at 10.3 points per game and leads in the Indians in both rebounds (4.1), assists (4.5) and steals (3).
Rice is shooting better than 51 percent from the field and is a tough one-on-one match. She leads the Indians in made free throws with 52.
It took a little time for Saunders to work her way into a rhythm after returning in January from a torn ACL sustained at the state tournament last season.
Over the last several weeks Saunders has looked like her explosive, play-making self.
Saunders has scored in double figures in three straight games and is averaging 12.7 points per game during that stretch.
A Creighton recruit, Saunders is shooting 57 percent from the field and is 6-of-10 from 3-point range over the last three games.
The 5-foot-8 senior is coming off perhaps her best game of the season, when she scored 14 points, grabbed four rebounds and have five assists in a win over Dubuque Senior.
Linn-Mar (3-16) at 5A No. 9 West High (12-7)
5A No. 1 City High (19-0) at 5A No. 13 Cedar Rapids Washington (11-6)
2A No. 13 Bellevue (16-5) at Liberty High (6-12)
2A No. 7 Regina (17-4) at Tipton (6-13)
Solon (6-14) at Mount Vernon (14-6)
Clear Creek Amana (11-8) at 4A No. 1 Marion (19-0)
West Branch (14-6) at Clear Creek Amana (11-8)
Waterloo West (10-10) at 5A No. 9 West High (12-7)
Dubuque Wahlert (6-13) at 5A No. 1 City High (19-0)
Liberty High (6-12) at Central DeWitt (6-12)
3A Region 3: Solon (6-14) at Monticello (16-5)
2A Region 5: Louisa-Muscatine (14-8) at West Branch (14-6)