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Column: Finger pointing can be a good thing

Published: Friday, Feb. 17, 2017 9:45 a.m. CDT • Updated: Friday, Feb. 17, 2017 10:23 a.m. CDT

There was a lot of finger pointing going on by Newton High’s girls in Wednesday’s Class 4A Region 3 quarterfinal game. It was all good.

Cardinal players were pointing fingers to acknowledge teammates for good plays — a timely pass for an assist, a steal, a rebound, a defensive play, a basket, and of course, a victory. Newton’s girls have had so many tough ballgames this season in which they’ve had to pick each other up. It was tremendous to watch the Cardinals take a lead, fend off Waterloo East’s rallies and claim the win.

The victory propels the Newton girls into a Class 4A Region 3 semifinal Saturday against ninth-ranked Dallas Center-Grimes at Grimes. Newton head coach Brandon Sharp pointed out the Cardinal girls have struggled playing the Fillies on the DCG basketball court. Newton lost 56-24 in the first meeting during Little Hawkeye Conference play then at home the Cardinals had a strong showing, losing 58-46.

Newton senior Courtney Jacobsen, who rang up five 3-pointers in Wednesday’s win, pointed to her teammates for finding her when she was open to hit the shots. She also pointed to how the Cardinals worked together down the stretch to keep the lead for the victory.

Ellie Horn did some finger pointing during the game. Horn, Newton’s senior post player, pointed at several teammates after they delivered a pass inside to her for a basket or allowed her to draw a foul on a Waterloo East player.

Yes, there was a lot of finger pointing going on Wednesday.

Wednesday’s girls 4A playoff game was the first of three playoff games to be hosted at Newton High School over a week-and-a-half span. The Cardinal boys are home Monday in a Class 4A Substate 7 quarterfinal against Urbandale.

Newton is going to host the Class 1A District 11 boys’ championship game on Thursday. Fifth-ranked Lynnville-Sully and Colfax-Mingo are in that district. The two area teams won their quarterfinals Thursday and play each other in the semifinals on Tuesday. There will be an area team playing in that title game at Newton.

Playoff time for basketball teams running right on top of the Iowa state wrestling tournament, which began Thursday at Wells Fargo Arena. There are a first, a couple of lasts and a couple of in-betweens for four area wrestlers and a coach.

Newton freshman Gage Linahon competed in his first high school state wrestling meet this week. He finished third at the 3A district meet and walked off the mat knowing he would be using what he learned this season to be better his sophomore season. On Monday, the second-place district finisher at 220-pounds decided to withdraw from the state tournament, putting Linahon in the 3A 220-pound field.

Two Prairie City-Monroe wrestling stalwarts are in their last state wrestling meet. Senior Xavier Miller concludes his Mustang career chasing a state medal in the Class 2A 145-pound division. PCM head coach Cory Waddell announced during the regular season, it was his last season as Mustang head coach.

PCM has sophomores Lucas Roland at 160 and Jarron Trausch at 170 in their second straight state wrestling meet. They also are chasing a medal and a spot on the state podium.

And so it goes as the Iowa high school winter sports seasons wind down. 

Newton’s bowling teams finished second at their state qualifying meet Tuesday. Just to point out they had a great finish, claiming their third sweep of the Little Hawkeye Conference meet titles at home last Saturday. The NCMP boys’ swim team didn’t qualify anyone for the state meet this season, but pointing out they have young swimmers making their marks and who are coming back next season.

Just pointing out a few things this week.

Contact Jocelyn Sheets at jsheets@newtondailynews.com

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