Redettes secure program-record 17th win

Centerville head girls basketball coach Nic Belloma instructs his team during the Class 3A regional quarterfinals on Saturday against Davis County at Lakeview Gymnasium in Centerville.

CENTERVILLE — Showdowns are looming as the postseason moves a round deeper after a weekend of Class 3A regional girls basketball openers.

In Class 3A, the Centerville Redettes tied a school record for single-season wins, pulling away after a tight second quarter for a 52-30 win at Lakeview Gymnasium. Rachel George led the way for the Redettes with 17 points as a 16-5 second quarter surge allowed Centerville to open a 30-15 halftime lead.

"Anytime you get a tournament win, you're happy," Centerville head girls basketball coach Nic Belloma said. "We didn’t shoot the ball particularly well, but we made enough shots and played well on the defensive end of the floor."

Isabelle Settles led Davis County, scoring a career-high 10 points in the season-ending loss. Rachel and Claire George combined to haul in 17 of Centerville's 41 rebounds in the 3A, Region 8 quarterfinal.

"Our size inside really causes a lot of problems for Davis County on both ends of the floor," Belloma said. "Defensively, we were really active and turned Davis County over quite a bit.

"I also thought we did a really good job of recognizing where (Macy) Hill was at to make her shoot contested shots. She hit two 3-pointers early and didn’t score again the rest of the game."

Centerville (17-1) will heads to ninth-ranked West Liberty on Wednesday night at 7 p.m. The Comets improved to 15-5 on the season, holding Eddyville-Blakesburg-Fremont scoreless for eight minutes in the first half of a 60-28 win over the Rockets on Saturday.

"We had great shots in the first half that just didn't fall," EBF head girls basketball coach Tony Fenton said. "Give West Liberty credit. They had a very good shooting night."

Finley Hall led West Liberty (15-5) with 20 points, sinking five of West Liberty's 12 made 3-pointers. Sailor Hall and Janey Gingerich each added 13 points for the Comets, setting up a clash of styles between two athletic teams with a sharp-shooting West Liberty squad going up against a Centerville squad with plenty of size.

Whoever makes it through the clash between the Redettes and West Liberty will face another tough test for the regional title and a state tournament berth on Saturday, Feb. 20. Fifth-ranked West Burlington improved to 19-1 with a 62-27 win over Albia, ending the season of the Lady Dees with a final record of 6-14, setting up a Southeast Iowa Superconference south division clash on Wednesday with Central Lee and the state's top scorer, Mya Merschman, in other 3A, Region 8 semifinal.

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