Basketball Roundup: West Branch Rolls in Regional Opener

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West Branch closed the regular season on a roll, winning seven of its final eight games.

The Bears carried that momentum over into the postseason on Saturday.

West Branch broke open a three-point game after one quarter and rolled to a 67-32 win over Louisa-Muscatine in a Class 2A, Region 5 opener in West Branch.

Sophomore Taylor Thein led three West Branch players in double figures with 20 points as the Bears improved to 16-6 and advanced to Tuesday’s Region 5 quarterfinal.

West Branch led 10-7 after the opening quarter but quickly pulled away in the second.

Tatum Koenig had 17 points, nine rebounds, six assists and two steals while freshman Taya Young had 15 points, six rebounds, five assists, two blocks and two steals.

Abbey Fryauf added six points and five rebounds for the Bears.

West Branch will travel to Wilton (13-8) on Tuesday for a third meeting this season with the Beavers.

Wilton won 76-74 in West Branch in November and defeated the Bears 77-42 in Wilton on January 9.

Solon Ends Its Season at Monticello

Solon fell to No. 11 Monticello 73-46 in a Class 3A, Region 3 quarterfinal on Saturday in Monticello.

The Spartans closed the season 6-16 while Monticello improved to 17-5 and will host Vinton-Shellsburg (3-19) in the Region 3 semifinals on Wednesday.

Boys

Liberty High Wins Third Straight

With the postseason looming Liberty High continues to build momentum.

Liberty High had six players score at least seven points and won its third straight game on Saturday with a 54-43 win over Independence in North Liberty.

Iziah Poulsen and Ethan O’Donnell each had 10 points as Liberty High improved to 8-12 on the season.

The Lightning went 21-of-22 at the free throw line and made all 12 of its second-half free throws while building on a 23-21 lead.

Bowen Gryp and Andre Brandon each had eight points while Grayson Tyler and Sam Funke each had seven.

Zach Snyder had a game-high 17 points to lead Independence (14-8).

Liberty High (54) – Grayson Tyler 7, Dawson Zimmerman 4, Bowen Gryp 8, Iziah Poulsen 10, Ethan O’Donnell 10, Andre Brandon 8, Sam Funke 7.

Independence (43) – Cliff Baldwin 7, Sean Geertsema 7, Cyrus Butters 7, Kenyon Hosch 3, Zach Snyder 17, Logan Schmitt 2.