Photo by Jeff Yoder
Your Prep Sports
IOWA CITY – Any loss stings.
A close call against a perennial power can pack a little extra disappointment.
What made Regina’s 61-58 overtime setback to defending state champion Cascade tough to swallow was that the Regals knew they let one slip away.
“It stung, it stung for all of us,” Regina coach Jared Galpin said of the December 18 loss. “I was up until 1:30 or 2 a.m. that night thinking about that game.”
After being outscored 5-2 in overtime by Cascade to drop to 5-2 on the season Regina knew it had missed an opportunity.
That sentiment was so strong among the Regals that after the game they laid out a goal in the locker room afterwards not to feel it again.
“After that Cascade game we got in the locker room and we knew that we didn’t play to our potential,” Miller said. “After that game and we said, ‘lets win out from here’,”.
Regina is three games away from making good on that goal.
Eighth-ranked Regina (20-2) has rattled off 15 consecutive wins since that loss to Cascade reaching the state tournament for the first time since 2015 where it will face No. 5 Boyden-Hull (22-2) in a Class 2A state quarterfinal on Monday at 4:30 p.m. at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines.
“I think after that game we realized that we had to cut down on our mistakes and take advantage of every moment and every possession,” Regina sophomore Ashton Cook said. “I think we’ve taken better advantage of every possession.”
Regina has been improved in virtually every facet since the loss to Cascade on December 18.
The Regals allowed 51.7 points per game during its 5-2 start but are holding opponents 45.8 points per game during its 15-game winning streak.
“After that game coach said we really need to get locked in, we have a long season ahead of us,” Cook said. “After that we started picking up things in practice and that has translated to the games.”
Regina gave 60 points or more three times in its first seven games, allowing opponents to crack 60 points in both of its losses.
Since giving up 61 to Cascade the Regals haven’t allowed more than 60 in a game and have held seven teams under 50 points.
“I think we were still kind of learning about who we were at that time,” Galpin said. “I think what we had to do is identify what our roles were on our team and once we established that we became successful.”
The exclamation point on the 15-game Regina winning streak was a 25-point win over No. 10 Camanche in a substate final.
Regina held the Indians to a season-low 44 points in the win while avenging a 60-53 loss from the regular season.
The Regals will get an equally tough defensive task on Monday against a Boyden-Hull team that ranks sixth in Class 2A in scoring at 69.4 points per game.
“We are going to have to guard extremely and we are going to have rebound extremely well,” Galpin said. “I think what we’ve been successful at is trying to control tempo and play the game at our speed and our level and I think we are going to have to do that again.”
With six players averaging between six and 14.8 points per game Boyden-Hull is among the most balanced teams in the 2A field.
The Comets have four players with more than 26 3-pointers on the season and all four are shooting 33 percent or better from beyond the arc.
Senior Beau De Jongh leads Boyden-Hull in scoring at 14.5 points per game while Keyton Moster adds 12.2 and Spencer Te Slaa scores 10.2 points per game.
“They remind me a lot of what Cascade was last year because they have eight or nine guys that are under 6-3 and they can all dribble, pass and shoot,” Galpin said. “They play a lot of motion, a lot of ball screen stuff and they have seven guys shooting 32 percent from 3 or better.”
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