2016-17 postseason matchups Girls playoff brackets released
The Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union released the 2017 regional basketball matchups this past week and none of the area teams will have an easy road for a deep run into the postseason.
Playing in Class 3A, Estherville Lincoln Central’s first-round on Saturday, Feb. 11 is Algona. Currently ranked 10th, the Bulldogs are currently 13-2 on the season. They are averaging 57 points per game, compared to ELC’s 45.5 points per game.
Both of the Bulldogs’ losses this season have been to higher ranked teams. Algona lost 46-43 to fourth-ranked Clear Lake on Dec. 9. Algona lost to top-ranked and defending 3A champions, Pocahontas Area on Jan. 19.
The Bulldogs have three players averaging double digits-Maddie Miller (16.1 ppg), Aliyah Buscher (10.9 ppg) and Abbey Holmes (10.3 ppg).
ELC (4-12 overall) is led by Morgan White (12.8 ppg) and Josie Condon (12.3 ppg).
On the other side of Emmet County, North Union (11-2) was briefly ranked 15th in Class 2A. The Warriors open tournament at home on Feb. 14 against the winner of South O’Brien (7-8) and Emmetsburg (3-10). While the Warriors are the favorites to win that game, the other side of the bracket features fifth-ranked Western Christian. While the Wolfpack suffered to losses to both Sioux Center and LeMars this season, they will still provide a significant challenge for the Warriors. The Wolfpack averages nearly 66 points per game. They are led by Ashtyn Veerbeek, who averages 23.1 points per contest and Erika Feenstra at 15.1 points per contest.
North Union has a balanced attack led by Hallie Reese (12.3 ppg), Samantha Hagedorn (11.8 ppg) and Bre Anderson (10.5 ppg). The Warriors are averaging 59 points per game.
Both North Union and Western Christian have other solid supporting players.
In Class 1A, Graettinger-Terril/Ruthven-Ayrshire has had the biggest turnaround. After just three wins last season, the Titans are currently 12-3.
GT/RA opens up tournament play with an easy first round opponent against a struggling West Bend-Mallard team on Feb. 9. The Titans will face a solid Bishop Garrigan (11-3) team on Feb. 14 in Algona. Should GT/RA survive that matchup, seventh-ranked Newell-Fonda (11-3) is the likely matchup coming down from the top side of the bracket.
GT/RA does feature a balanced attack with Madison Hough (11.2 ppg), Madison Norris (11.1 ppg) and Toni Alesch (11.0 ppg).
Complete tournament brackets can be viewed at the Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union website at www.ighsau.org.