CHARITON – The Centerville Redettes had to wait an extra day to clinch the outright South Central Conference title.
In the end, the wait was well worth it. Centerville used a pair of second-half runs to rally from a six-point deficit, putting away the program's first five-on-five outright conference title with a 54-46 win at Chariton in a game that was rescheduled twice, including a snow out on Monday night.
"We took Chariton's best shot in the first half. They knocked down some tough shots," Centerville head girls basketball coach Nic Belloma said. "We were down 30-21 at halftime, but came out in the third quarter and made some big shots ourselves to get back in the game."
Claire Mathews led Centerville to the win with that clinched an 11-1 run to the SCC outright title, officially ending Knoxville's bid for earning at least a share of a fourth straight conference title. Mathews scored a team-best 13 points while Mickey Stephens added 12 points as Centerville outscored the Chargers 20-5 in the third quarter, taking a 34-33 lead on the heels of a 13-3 run before scoring seven straight points after Chariton took the lead for the final time, 35-34, in the final minutes of the third quarter.
"I really like how we kept our composure and didn't panic when we got behind," Belloma said. "We came out in the second half, worked for good shots and played very well defensively. Our bench players really played well, giving us 17 points.
"I'm really proud of this group of players. They have put a lot of time and effort into basketball in the offseason. It's great to see all that hard work and effort pay off for them."
Centerville (16-1) will open Class 3A regional tournament play on Saturday against Davis County. Action tips off at Lakeview Gymnasium starting at 7 p.m.
"We will enjoy this for one night, then we turn our attention to the postseason, where everyone to 0-0," Belloma said. "It's one game at a time and see what happens."
Van Buren County 55, Wapello 38
KEOSAUQUA – Isabel Manning reached 1,500 career points for the Warriors, scoring a team-leading 23 points and grabbed 16 rebounds for an impressive double-double in the first game for VBC in eight days due to winter weather cancelations and postponements.
Zoe Best added 14 points, tying her career high with 12 points coming in the second half. Ella Jirak added 11 points, nine rebounds and four assists for the Warriors.
Lindsy Massner led Wapello with 12 points and eight rebounds. Tatum Wolford added 11 points in the loss.
Van Buren County (14-5) hosts Pekin on Thursday.
Pekin 65, Iowa Valley 50
PEKIN – Sophie Wittrock made the most of a late-scheduled Senior Night contest against the Tigers, scoring a team-leading 17 points for the Panthers in her final home basketball game.
Kerrigan Pope added 12 points for Pekin, who pulled away in the second half after Sarah Eubanks banked in a 3-pointer to close the first half, lifting Pekin to a 37-32 lead.
Pekin (9-9) heads to Van Buren County to close out the regular season on Thursday. The Panthers open Class 2A regional tournament play at Pella Christian on Tuesday, Feb. 16.
Davis County 64, Putnam County 28
UNIONVILLE, MO – Macy Hill scored a game-high 20 points for the Mustangs, who never looked back in a non-conference road win after using a 16-2 run to open an 18-7 lead.
Sophia Young added 14 points for Davis County. Putnam County never recovered after allowing 35 of the final 43 points in the first half committing 17 turnovers in the first 16 minutes.
Davis County (6-15) opens Class 3A regional tournament play at Centerville on Saturday night.
Cardinal 36, Melcher-Dallas 31
ELDON – Alexia McClure closed out her final home basketball game for the Comets, knocking down a pair of free throws with 3.5 seconds left to clinch a narrow win over the Bluegrass Conference tournament finalist to close out the regular season.
Emma Becker led Cardinal with 11 points while McClure finished with nine points for the Comets. The game was tight all the way through with the teams tied at halftime at 17-17 and after three quarters at 23-23.
Cardinal (5-13) opens Class 2A regional tournament play at Louisa-Muscatine on Saturday.
Cardinal 70, Central Lee 56
ELDON – Blaine Bryant scored 20 points for the Comets, who wrapped up Southeast Iowa Superconference south division play on a winning note.
Cardinal (9-9, 6-9 SEI south) will look to post a winning regular-season mark on Thursday. The Comets host Missouri's Canton High School before opening Class 2A district tournament play on Monday at Williamsburg.
Centerville 63, Chariton 23
CHARITON – Merrick Mathews scored 13 points to lead a balanced attack for the Big Reds in the South Central Conference road win over the Chargers. Brady Kauzlarich added 12 points as Centerville won for the fifth time in the past eight games.
Centerville (5-12, 4-7 SCC) hosts Albia (16-2, 11-0 SCC) on Thursday. The Blue Demons will seek to become the second team in three years (Eddyville-Blakesburg-Fremont) to post a perfect record in SCC play.
Putnam County 78, Davis County 66
UNIONVILLE, MO – Dalton Reeves scored 24 points while Carson Zeitler added a career-high 17 points for the Mustangs in the make-up of a game scheduled to be played last Thursday in Bloomfield.
Davis County (8-10) heads to Fairfield on Thursday to wrap up the regular season. The Mustangs opens Class 2A postseason play at Eddyville-Blakesburg-Fremont on Monday night.