Photo by Jeff Yoder
Your Prep Sports
IOWA CITY – Masen Miller wasn’t really in need of a confidence boost entering the postseason.
A strong regular season had done plenty to build the confidence of the sharpshooting Regina point guard.
Even if it wasn’t needed Miller got an added dose of confidence with some heroics late in the Regals’ postseason opener.
Miller buried a game-winning 3-pointer in the final seconds of a 56-53 win over West Burlington to keep Regina’s season alive.
“You always want your confidence up and that one definitely helped,” Miller said. “It just kind of boosted the confidence.”
The game-winner against West Burlington was just the beginning for Miller.
Miller scored 13 in a district final win over Danville and then poured in 29 in a 69-44 win over tenth-ranked Camanche that sent No. 8 Regina back to the Class 2A state tournament for the first time since 2015.
“That was fun,” Miller said of the substate final win. “I felt good in warmups and the day before in practice and to get out there and knock the first couple down it really helped.”
It was the late heroics from Miller against West Burlington that got Regina going in the postseason but his best game came in the substate final win over Camanche.
Camanche handed Regina (20-2) one of two regular season losses 60-53 back on December 7.
Miller set the tone early in the rematch, scoring 20 of his game-high 29 points in the first half as Regina raced to a 40-23 lead.
“He was hitting step back 3s with a hand in his face, he was flaring off a screen in rhythm and hitting shots, he was incredible,” Regina coach Jared Galpin said. “Once he hits those shots, he has 20 at half and then the confidence started to flow in everyone else and that helped us on the defensive end.”
Miller needed just 15 shots to score his 29 points, going 10-of-15 from the field and 7-of-11 from 3-point range as Regina hit 12 3-pointers as a team.
“I definitely knew we could win that game if we played to our potential, I just didn’t think it was going to go like that,” Miller said. “I knew we had that in us we just had to play to our potential and we did that.”
Miller averaged 20.3 points and 4.3 assists in three postseason wins to help Regina return to the state tournament.
On the season Miller averages 20.6 points per game and is shooting 44 percent from 3-point range while making a state-best 97 3-pointers.
With three triples at the state tournament this week Miller would become just the fourth Iowa player in the past 13 seasons to make 100 3-pointers in a season.
“He’s unbelievable,” Regina sophomore Ashton Cook said of Miller. “He definitely brings a lot of leadership to the court and he’s a guy that you can look to for a basket at any point in the game.”
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