Photo by Jeff Yoder
Your Prep Sports
No meeting between Regina and West Branch requires any additional incentives to liven up the action.
Never the less the most recent meeting between the two long-time rivals comes with slightly higher stakes than usual.
The River Valley Conference South Division title will be up for grabs on Wednesday when West Branch hosts Regina at 5 p.m. in a game originally scheduled for Tuesday.
Another round of winter weather forced the game to be rescheduled but the rematch figures to be worth the wait.
Regina (15-2) and West Branch (14-3) are both receiving votes in the Class 2A Associated Press poll and have followed similar paths to a virtual deadlock atop the RVC South standings.
The Regals are 15-2 in league play with road games at West Branch and Anamosa remaining.
West Branch sits at 14-2 in RVC play and travels to Wilton on Thursday.
The winner of Wednesday’s matinee contest puts themselves in the drivers seat with just a game remaining.
Regina built a 29-19 halftime lead and won the first meeting 63-55 in Iowa City on January 8.
The rematch features a head-to-head meeting of two of the best in the RVC in West Branch senior Beau Cornwell and Regina junior Masen Miller.
Cornwell had a game-high 24 in the first meeting and is averaging a team-best 19.8 points per game this season.
Miller had 22 points in the January win over West Branch but got plenty of help, namely from sophomore Ashton Cook who added 20 points in the eight-point win.
Trey Eagle had 17 for West Branch in the first meeting but the rest of the Bears combined for just 14 points on 6-of-19 shooting.
Cook could again be a key for Regina.
The 6-foot-4 sophomore has scored in double figures in nine straight games and is averaging 16.2 points per game during that span.
Cornwell Becomes Scoring King: This fall Beau Cornwell rewrote the passing record books in a record setting senior football season.
Cornwell has taken aim at the West Branch basketball records this winter.
The senior guard became the all-time leading scorer at West Branch last week with 22 points in a win over West Liberty on Saturday.
Cornwell upped his career scoring total to 1,638 breaking the previous school record of 1,630 held by Rylan Murry.
Postseason Pairings: Teams in Class 1A and 2A now know their path to the state tournament with the release of postseason pairings last week.
Regina will host a 2A, District 8 semifinal doubleheader on February 14 with the winners meeting in the title game in Mount Pleasant.
The Regals will face the winner of Mid-Prairie and West Burlington at 8 p.m. with Mediapolis taking on the Danville and Central Lee winner in the opener.
In Class 2A, District 7 West Branch will face the winner of Wapello and Columbus in a semifinal at 6:30 p.m. on February 14 in Camanche.
Eighth-ranked Camanche is the top seed and will play the winner of Wilton and Louisa-Muscatine in the semifinals.
Ranking update: West High remained fourth in the most recent Class 4A poll released on Monday by the Associated Press.
West Branch and Regina are both receiving votes in the Class 2A poll.
Performances of the Week: Regina junior Masen Miller had 17 points, 11 assists and seven rebounds in a 68-53 win over Durant.
Regina sophomore Ashton Cook had 19 points, five rebounds and three assists in a 68-53 win over Durant.
West Branch senior Beau Cornwell had 28 points, eight rebounds, five steals and four assists in a 74-62 win over Mid-Prairie.
City High junior Keshawn Christian had 21 points, 14 rebounds and three steals in a 70-58 win over Knoxville.
West High junior Even Brauns had 21 points, four rebounds and two blocked shots in a 69-48 win over City High.
Did you enjoy this subscription free article? Help keep Your Prep Sports free by becoming a member.