Breaking Down the Class 5A Girls Basketball Regional Finals

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Photo by Jeff Yoder

Class 5A, Region 1

Bettendorf (16-6) at No. 6 City High (18-2)

When: Tuesday, 7 p.m.

Where: City High

Top Players: City High – Aubrey Joens, 5-9, Jr., 23.3 points, 7.1 rebounds; Rose Nkumu, 5-8, Jr., 18.3 points, 4.3 assists. Bettendorf – Kylie Wroblewski, 6-2, Sr., 17.2 points, 11.9 rebounds; Ashley Fountain, 10.1 points.

About the Little Hawks: City High has won four straight games since back-to-back losses to West High and West Des Moines Dowling with wins over ranked teams Cedar Rapids Prairie and Cedar Rapids Washington in that stretch.

The Little Hawks can score with any team in the state and have a trio of juniors averaging double figures led by Aubrey Joens with 23.3 points per game.

Rose Nkumu adds 18.3 per game and Paige Rocca is scoring 10.5 points per game helping City High average 64.1 per game.

The key for City High is on the defensive end. The Little Hawks have allowed 65 points or more twice this season and both were losses.

After allowing an average of 72 points per game in its back-to-back losses City High has allowed an average of 44.5 points in its four-game winning streak.

About the Bulldogs: Bettendorf held off Davenport North to return to the regional finals for the second straight year after falling to City High 65-40 in last year’s regional final.

Bettendorf is seeking its first state tournament appearance since 2004 and will likely need a big game from its leading scorer Kyle Wroblewski to pull the upset.

Wroblewski leads Bettendorf in scoring wth 17.2 points per game but is a force all over the court.

The 6-foot-2 senior is the top rebounder in Class 5A, averaging 11.9 per game and ranks sixth in 5A with 45 blocks.

What to Watch: Whichever team controls the pace figures to have the upper hand in a meeting of two teams with distinctly different styles of play.

City High wants to get up and down and will look to create turnovers with its trapping half court defense while Bettendorf prefers a half court style of game.

The Bulldogs average 49.6 points per game with ranks 23rd in 5A.

Class 5A, Region 7

No. 5 West High (17-3) at No. 2 Waukee (17-4)

When: Tuesday, 7 p.m.

Where: Waukee Field House  

Top Players: West High – Audrey Koch, 5-10, Soph., 15.5 points, 7 rebounds; Lauren Zacharias, 5-5, Sr., 14.7 points, 5.7 rebounds, 5.4 assists. Waukee – Paityn Rau, 6-2, Sr., 14.4 points, 6 rebounds; Anna Brown, 5-10, Sr., 13.6 points, 3.1 assists

About the Women of Troy: West High has made a habit of playing its best basketball at the end of the season and the Women of Troy are doing that again this season.

The Women of Troy have won nine in a row since a January 11th loss to Cedar Falls with wins over City High and Class 4A top-ranked Marion in that stretch.

Another West High trademark is offensive balance and that has continued this season with five players averaging between 7.3 and 15.5 points per game.

Sophomore Audrey Koch leads three players in double figures with 15.5 per game while senior Lauren Zacharias averages 14.7 and Cailyn Morgan adds 13.2.

The last time West High missed the state tournament, in 2016 it was due to a 70-68 overtime loss to Waukee in the regional

About the Warriors: If West High isn’t the hottest team in Class 5A entering Tuesday night’s regional finals then that distinction belongs to Waukee.

Waukee enters riding an eight-game winning streak and seeking a sixth straight state tournament berth.

The Warriors have been dominant during their current winning streak that features victories over ranked teams Southeast Polk, Mason City, Ankeny Centennial and West Des Moines Valley.

Waukee is averaging 77.8 points per game during its current winning streak and ranks second in 5A putting up 71.5 points per game this season.

Much like West High the Warriors have a number of players on offensive capable of putting up oints.

Five players average more than 8.1 points per game led by 6-foot-2 senior Paityn Rau (14.4).

Anna Brown adds 13.6 points per game and Katie Dinnebier is scoring 12 points per game for the Warriors.

What to Watch: There are only three players in Class 5A with both 100 assists and 100 rebounds and two of them will square off on Tuesday as Jori Nieman and Lauren Zacharias go head to head in a meeting of two of the top lead guards in the state.

Zacharias has put together an impressive senior season averaging 14.7 points, 5.7 rebounds and 5.4 assists per game.

The 5-foot-8 Nieman has been equally productive putting up 8.1 points, 5.7 rebounds and 5.2 assists per game.