Regina Roars Into Postseason Riding Nine-Game Winning Streak

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Jeff Yoder Photo / iagameday.smugmug.com

Ryan Murken

Your Prep Sports

IOWA CITY – Regina will enter the postseason unranked, under the radar and a team no coach wants to meet with their season on the line.

In other words, the Regals are right where first-year head coach Jared Galpin wants to be.

Regina ran its winning streak to nine with a 67-52 victory over Benton Community on Friday in a non-conference regular season finale in Iowa City.  

“Ever since the middle of January we are just starting to click,” Galpin said. “I like where we are at.”

In its final tune up before postseason play begins next week, Regina looked like a team poised for a deep playoff run on Friday.

Regina made 12 3-pointers and shot 57 percent from the field while improving to 17-3.

Sophomore point guard Masen Miller hit five triples and led three Regals in double figures with a game-high 17 points as Regina won its fifth straight game by double digits.

“We are seeing the court a lot better and finding the open guy,” Miller said. “When we’ve gotten open shots, we’ve knocked them down.”

Regina had no problem creating or converting open shots on Friday.

The Regals went 8-of-11 from 3-point range in the first half, hitting all five of its second-quarter 3-point attempts while building a 36-31 halftime lead.

Regina finished with 20 assists on 25 made field goals.

“Offensive we are sharing the ball really well and we are moving the ball really well,” Galpin said. “Then guys are stepping up and knocking down shots with confidence which is great.”

Regina never trailed on Friday but couldn’t put away the Bobcats until the fourth quarter.

Benton Community (12-8) trailed 50-45 with under seven minutes to play after a Nathan Michels bucket.

Regina put the game away with a 10-0 run that snapped nearly four minutes and featured a pair of 3-pointers from Miller.

“We were really getting by guys and that opened our guys up and then we were making the extra pass and the right pass to free up our shooters,” Miller said. “We work on shooting it a lot so we are ready to knock them down.”

After allowing 31 first-half points on 57 percent shooting Regina held Benton Community to 21 points 28 percent field goal shooting in the second half.

Regina allowed just four points in the opening six minutes of the fourth quarter while turning a five-point lead into a 64-47 cushion.

“I didn’t like how we played defensively in the first half, giving up 31 points was more than I wanted to give up, it just seemed like we were sluggish and not locked in to playing team defense,” Galpin said. “The second half, before we subbed at the end I think we’d given up 14 points.”

Regina held the Bobcats top two scorers, Spencer Touro and Nathan Michels to five points on 2-of-10 shooting in the second half.

Touro reached 1,000 points for his career with a second-quarter 3-pointer but finished with 12 points, more than six below his season average, on 4-of-10 shooting.

“He is a really good player and he can get his shot off so we really tried to run him off the line,” Miller said. “We tried to take away the 3-point shot from him without letting him get by us for easy layups.”

Regina opens postseason play on Thursday against the winner of North Cedar and Monticello in a Class 2A, District 8 semifinal.

Awaiting in the District eight title game will likely be a rematch with third-ranked Cascade (20-1).

Cascade defeated Regina 69-50 back on December 19.

“I really like where we are at right now, I think we’ve come a long way and I think we are going to make a run here at the end,” Miller said. “It should be fun.”

Regina                        15  21  12  19 –  67

Benton Community     11  20  12   9  –  52

Regina (67) – Zach Seaman 5-8 0-0 13, Michael Conlon 0-1 0-0 2, Bryce Barnett 2-2 0-0 4, Masen Miller 5-10 2-2 17, Jocoa Kerschen 6-10 0-0 15, Brady Wallace 0-1 0-0 0, Jake Phillips 2-4 1-1 5, Ryne Schooley 0-1 0-0 0, Even Brauns 0-1 2-2 2, Steve Sehl 1-1 0-0 3, Blake Berns 3-4 0-0 6, Nick Wagner 1-1 0-0 2, Team 25-44 5-5 67.

Benton Community (52) – Spencer Touro 4-10 2-4 12, Koal Marshall 4-6 0-1 8, Luke Wiebel 1-4 1-2 3, Patrick Gorkow 0-1 0-0 0, Jack Shaw 0-1 0-0 0, Parker Nolan 1-2 0-0 2, Riley Nolan 1-5 1-2 3, Nathan Michels 3-10 0-0 6, Dylan Spina 5-11 0-0 13, Bennett Gorkow 0-1 0-0 0, Jacob Stocker 2-2 0-0 5, Team 21-53 4-9 52.

3-point field goals – ICR 12-23 (Seaman 3-4, Conlon 0-1, Miller 5-9, Kerschen 3-6, Wallace 0-1, Phillips 0-1, Sehl 1-1); BC 6-16 (Touro 2-5, Marshall 0-1, Gorkow 0-1, Shaw 0-1, Nolan 0-1, Michels 0-1, Spina 3-5). Rebounds – ICR 26 (Brauns, Seaman 4); BC 26 (Michels 8). Turnovers – ICR 8; BC 8. Total fouls – ICR 11; BC 11. Fouled out – None. Technical fouls – None.