Jan 21, 2023 6:49 PM

Mediapolis girls win; No. 5 Falcons boys triumph

Posted Jan 21, 2023 6:49 PM

Above: Mediapolis' Cole Lipper (5) fires a 3-pointer past the outstretched arm of West Burlington High School's Hayden Vandenberg in Friday's varsity boys basketball game at the Falcons' gym. Mediapolis led 11-3, but the Falcons put together a couple of good scoring spurts and went on to win 56-43. West Burlington, ranked fifth in Class 2A by the Iowa High School Athletic Association, improves to 14-0.  Photo/Chris Faulkner

By Chris Faulkner

 Mediapolis' lead of fifth-ranked West Burlington's boys basketball team was short-lived.

The Bulldogs jumped out to an 11-3 lead in Friday's South Division game, but the Falcons regrouped. West Burlington closed out the first quarter with a 13-3 run, posted a 17-3 streak that overlapped into the second half and went on to win 56-43 at the Falcons' gym.

In the girls game, Mediapolis defeated West Burlington 76-62. The Falcons last week lost McKenna Marlow to a dislocated kneecap on her right leg, and she's done for the season.

Brady Martin sparked the Falcons' comeback in the boys game. He scored 10 of his game-high 24 points in the first quarter. He would go on to shoot 9 of 18 from the field and 4 of 6 from the line.

Mediapolis hit three 3-pointers to start the game off and made seven by halftime, compared to just three 2-point field goals.

“Mediapolis came out on fire,” West Burlington coach Ryan O'Hern said of the Bulldogs' seven 3-pointers. “They're capable of shooting the ball that well.

“I thought we tightened up our defense in the second half and closed off shooters quicker,” O'Hern said.

Mediapolis didn't score in the second half until the 2:34 mark.

“Offensively we have to keep moving the ball, finding the open guy, making an extra pass. Sometimes in the last three games, we've been stymied offensively with poor ball movement.”

Jace Figuereo had 11 points and 10 rebounds. Parker Lau had eight points. Aidan Figuereo and Zach Webb added four points each, and Hayden Vandenberg added a field goal.

Cole Lipper scored from inside the paint and behind the arc and led the Bulldogs with 17 points. Jackson Hutcheson had nine points, Ben Egan six, Drew Miller four, Jacob Grier three, and Lance Ludens and Xayvion Gordon two each.

West Burlington's boys still lead the South at 11-0, 14-0 overall. The Falcons host North Division foe Winfield-Mount Union (11-3) next Monday and then host Central Lee Tuesday for a South Division contest.

Mediapolis' boys fall to 5-5 in the South, and 8-6 overall. The Bulldogs play at New London Tuesday.

Mediapolis' girls had also gotten off to an 11-3 start but they had a strong defensive attack and a balanced offense to weather the Falcons' comeback efforts.

The Bulldogs led 21-16 after the first quarter but an 11-4 run put the lead in double digits, and the Falcons could get no closer than nine the rest of the way.

“One thing that we base our program off of is the ability to play full-court defense,” Mediapolis coach Scott Borrison.

Knowing that the short-handed Falcons were another player down, “We felt this was a team, if we didn't get a lot of steals or transition buckets, we'd at least wear them down during the course of the game,” Borrison said.

Payton Bush hit five 3-pointers and scored 21 points, 16 of them in the first half. Liz Lane pounded the ball inside and scored 20. She also topped the 500-point mark for career scoring and now has 511.

Above: Liz Lane of Mediapolis tries to score past West Burlington defender Isabella Callison in Friday's South Division girls' basketball game at the Falcons' gym. Mediapolis teammate Grace Holsteen is also pictured. Lane topped the 500-point mark for her career and her 20 points helped the Bulldogs beat West Burlington 76-62.Photo/Chris Faulkner

“We felt that they were going to spread on our shooters, and she was going to have some very good opportunities in the paint, and she capitalized on that.”

Bush recently topped the 700-point mark and has 730.

Sharing the scoring wealth in Friday's game were Haley Steffener with 13, Grace Holsteen with 11, and Hanna Wagenbach with eight. Jaydon Wirt added a 3-pointer.

Abbey Bence scored 31 points for West Burlington. Isabella Blaufuss finished with 12 and Trayn Havenber with 10. Isabelle Ritter had seven points, and Isabella Callison scored a field goal.

“We just didn't play good defense,” Falcons coach John Vandenberg said, noting that 62 points are usually a good enough output to win a game.

“We didn't box out. We didn't rebound. We let them dominate in the paint. We let their shooters just go.”

Mediapolis is 11-2 in the South, and 13-2 overall. The Bulldogs play Saturday against a state-ranked Orangeville, Ill., team at 3 p.m. At West Carroll High School. They play next Tuesday in New London.

West Burlington drops to 8-3 in the South, 10-4 overall, and host on Monday to Camp Point Central of Illinois at 6 p.m., followed by the boys' game against Winfield-Mount Union.