It took the entire game, but IKM-Manning showed Friday night why it has only one loss this season in softball.
The 11th-rated Falcons didn’t flinch, making several clutch plays down the stretch to nip No. 14 IKM-Manning 58-54 in a thrilling Class 2-A, Region 8 final Wednesday at MVAO High School.
Having played every second of the first 39 minutes of Friday’s Class 2-A Region 8 semifinal, IKM-Manning senior Kia Rasmussen stepped to the foul line for two shots with her team trailing by two points in double overtime.
IKM-Manning’s Jared Johnson is no stranger to the pressure of being depended on — just not for basketball.
For 16 teams in The World-Herald’s western Iowa coverage area, the season marches on.
AHSTW is one step closer to a district title. Earlier in the week, the Vikings talked a little about the implications of Friday night’s district showdown with IKM-Manning, only to be shot down by their coaches’ “taking it one game at a time” maxim.
Treynor, playing its first game without injured senior shortstop McKenna Waffle, fell to the Wolves.
Treynor girls coach Gail Hartigan took a seat in her office and let out a sigh of relief after her team’s victory Friday over Western Iowa Conference rival IKM-Manning.
AHSTW knew all week its depth would be tested. The football team endured further attrition Friday night while still maintaining its unbeaten season.
Logan-Magnolia needed one more stop. Its defense had already risen to the occasion time and again, holding IKM-Manning scoreless on six drives after crossing midfield. Yet there were the Wolves, 10 yards from taking the lead, down six in a first-and-goal situation with three minutes left.
Aly Stadtlander is a setter for the IKM-Manning volleyball team. The 5-foot-8 senior ranks fourth in the Western Iowa Conference at 6.2 assists per set. The Wolves (8-4, 2-0 WIC) return to action Thursday when they welcome Griswold.
IKM-Manning girls basketball coach Gene Rasmussen was inducted into the Iowa Girls Coaches Association’s hall of fame last weekend during a banquet in Cedar Rapids.
IKM-Manning had settled nicely into its first Iowa boys state basketball game in six years. The Wolves shot 50 percent from the field in the opening period, and the lead changed hands seven times.
Postseason play awaits IKM-Manning on Saturday, and the Wolves should feel well prepared for what’s to come in the Class 2-A field. They finished the regular season with two difficult road games against the Western Iowa Conference’s top teams: 2-A No. 10 Treynor and Logan-Magnolia.
Perhaps they were motivated to avenge an early-season loss. Whatever the driving force, the IKM-Manning girls made a statement Friday against Underwood.
Many can’t get a standard driver’s license. They can’t attend R-rated movies. But they aren’t too young to make an impact on the basketball court.
Starting about 11 years ago, an extra bounce of the basketball could be heard during the boys practices in the gymnasium at Manning. While coach Keith Wagner put his high school players through the paces on the court below, a 6-year-old spent many afternoons shooting on an adjustable hoop in the weight room just above.
Whenever the Treynor and IKM-Manning boys meet on the hardwood, it’s turning into must-see basketball. The programs met twice last year during the regular season, with IKM-Manning sweeping the series. They met again in the Class 2-A substate finals with Treynor earning a three-point triumph en route to its first state championship.
The bright red cut on the side of Jared Vollstedt’s nose told the story. The IKM-Manning senior and his teammates had to fight and claw for everything on Monday night, but they were rewarded with a satisfying result.
The driving rain stopped after halftime. Not coincidentally, that’s when Underwood really got going.
The serves were wicked. The passing was steady. At one point between sets, some players were exchanging bird calls with supporters in the crowd.
Nate Herbst threw a couple interceptions. He lost feeling in his right arm for a few moments when he smacked his funny bone on a defender. Just about everything else went right for the AHSTW senior quarterback – and homecoming king – in a career game against a district rival.
There are no complaints about playing time. Rigid and defined roles are nonexistent. Instead, the Treynor volleyball team continues to show how effective a little flexibility and a lot of depth can be.
Tough defense and a bruising rushing attack. Suddenly IKM-Manning football is looking like its old self. The Wolves waded through a non-district season in which they struggled to score and get key stops. But the traditional powerhouse went back to its roots Friday night in its Iowa Class 1-A, District 1 opener, relying on a pair of goal-line stands and a clutch drive late in the fourth quarter to dispatch Treynor 21-7.
IKM-Manning created opportunities galore in its first state semifinal softball appearance. Its inability to capitalize on most of those chances triggered the tears flowing from many of its players’ faces at game’s end.
After her team squandered a four-run seventh-inning lead, IKM-Manning senior Andy Nulle vowed to get the Wolves back in the proper frame of mind.