KCII Radio and kciiradio.com will have live coverage of two district championship games as 6th-ranked Keota travels to Burlington to square off with top-ranked Danville and conference foes meet in Wellman as #8 IMS looks to avenge two regular-season losses to the 7th-ranked conference champs from Lone Tree.

***LIVE on KCII Radio (6:30pm)***

#7 Lone Tree faces #8 IMS tonight on AM and FM KCII with the Farmer’s and Merchant’s Savings Bank of Lone Tree Pregame Show starting at 6:30 when we’ll hear from IMS coach Dwight Gingerich and Lone Tree’s Tom Squiers.

IMS’ only loss since winter break was to Lone Tree 69-61.  Their only other loss to a 1A team was to Lone Tree as well, 82-75, in mid-December, but IMS had stepped up their defense in the second half of the season while the offense continues to roll.  IMS ranks third in scoring in 1A, averaging 71.1 points-per-game, but they’re in the bottom half in field goal attempts with 1107 attempts, or just over 46 shots per game, putting their shooting percentage at 56.4, the top ranked team in the state, regardless of class.  In the state of Iowa, IMS ranks 12th, scoring 68.0ppg while Lone Tree sits 14th, averaging 67.8ppg.

While IMS (20-4) has rolled through their first two postseason opponents, outscoring Iowa Valley and HLV by a combined 173-77, Lone Tree (20-3) was tested by Highland for a half and played a tight game against Cedar Valley Christian before pulling away late with help from the free throw line.  One would expect a close game tonight, and Lion’s head coach Tom Squires says his teams recent experience in tight games will help.

“We’ve been through a close game (against Cedar Valley Christian) and we didn’t panic. Our guys will be ready to play (tonight). They know it’s lose and go home and their ultimate goal is to get to that state tournament.  It will defiantly be a war (tonight); it’s going to be two teams that will battle till that final buzzer sounds.”

While IMS spreads out their scoring with five players averaging double figures, Lone Tree will need another typical game from leading scorer Bryan Forbes (19.1ppg) who poured in 37 against Cedar Valley Christian and averaged 28.5 points in the two games against IMS.

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***Live internet stream on kciiradio.com (6:30pm)*** (with encore presentation on KCII Radio)

6th-ranked Keota squares off against #1 Danville tonight with live coverage starting at 6:30pm on the internet stream at kciiradio.com.  A re-broadcast of the game will air on AM and FM KCII following the conclusion of Lone Tree/IMS.

Keota’s last loss came to Danville in the sub-state round last season 60-40, and while the Eagles (23-0) have just one returning starter, the Bears return essentially the same team who has now won 72 of their last 75 games and wrapped up their second-straight undefeated conference championship this season in the SEI Super Conference South division. With three players averaging in double figures led by twins Michael and Steven Soukup (both avg. 17.8ppg), the Bears (23-0)  lead class 1A in scoring (77.0ppg) and scoring margin (+44), and are second in shooting percentage (54.1) while Keota is 4th in scoring defense, allowing just 38.7ppg.

It’s a familiar opponent for Keota to be sure, but Keota head coach Dan Stout reminds us his team is not as familiar to Danville as one might think.

“We only have one kid that played in the game last year with Casey (Sieren) returning.  It will be a different style of game for us with some of our different players.  We don’t play as many kids as we did last year and we don’t really look back on those things, but it does give us a familiar opponent; they’ve got most of their kids back.

“One of the biggest things we’re going to have to do is take care of the basketball.”

The Bears rank third in class 1A in steals with 370 (16.1spg).

Download (word document) a comparison of both district championship game teams By The Numbers.

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