Sports

 The Harlan Community girls bowlers placed fifth out of eight teams at the Class 1A state tournament Monday. Left-right: Abby Swank, Jayden Gessert, Sydney O’Neill, Olivia Petersen, Ania Kaster, Madison Horn. (Photos contributed)
 WATERLOO (Feb. 18) -- Harlan Community’s third trip in six years to the Class 1A Girls State Bowling Tournament resulted in its best finish yet as the Cyclones placed fifth out of eight teams Monday at Cadillac Lanes in Waterloo. HCHS checked in one spot and 97 pins ahead of sixth-place Red Oak,...
 HCHS head coach Mitch Osborn leads his team off the floor following Monday night’s substate quarterfinal loss to Winterset. Osborn will retire as the school’s activities director and boys basketball coach effective June 30. He will have an opportunity to reapply for the coaching job later this year, but is undecided about his future. (Photos by Mike Oeffner)
 CARROLL (Feb. 18) -- For about half of the third quarter on Monday night, the Harlan Community boys basketball team appeared at least close to hitting on all cylinders. The other 28 minutes - more often than not - were a struggle. Plagued by 14 first-half turnovers, the Cyclones trailed 31-20 at...
 Exira-EHK coach Doug Newton watches his team during the fourth quarter of Tuesday’s district semifinal win over Audubon. (Photos by Mike Oeffner)
 ELK HORN (Feb. 19) -- If Exira-Elk Horn-Kimballton replicates its most recent third-quarter performance - or something close - for a full game, it will be tough for any team to keep the Spartans out of this year’s Boys State Basketball Tournament. Building off the momentum of a 9-0 first-half...
 SLOAN (Feb. 15) -- The Exira-Elk Horn-Kimballton girls led 20-18 at halftime before being outscored 39-12 the rest of the way last Friday in a 57-32 Class 1A regional semifinal loss at Westwood. The Spartans finished the season at 17-6 overall while the 14th-ranked Rebels improved to 19-4....
 SIDNEY -- The AHSTW girls basketball season ended February 12 with a 53-48 loss at Sidney in a Class 2A regional quarterfinal. The Lady Vikes finished 15-7. AHSTW led by five after three quarters but was outscored 19-9 in the fourth. Scoring leaders included Claire Denning with 14, Kailey Jones 13...
 IKM-Manning sophomore Alexa Ahrenholtz fights for a loose ball with Woodbury Central’s Sidney Steffen. (Photos by Mike Oeffner)
 DENISON (Feb. 15) -- Junior Lexi Branning scored inside to open the fourth quarter last Friday night, pulling the IKM-Manning girls within four points of Woodbury Central. Amazingly, it would be the only made field goal by either side in the final eight minutes of a defensive battle featuring 41...
 Exira-EHK's Cole Burmeister (left) battles a Boyer Valley player for a loose ball.
 ELK HORN (Feb. 14) -- Cole Burmeister led the way with 20 points, eight rebounds, seven steals and seven assists Thursday night as the 7th-ranked Exira-Elk Horn-Kimballton boys opened postseason play with a 59-43 district quarterfinal win over Boyer Valley. The Spartans (20-2) hosted Audubon on...
 NEWELL (Feb. 15) -- The IKM-Manning boys took control from the outset in Friday’s Class 1A, District 16 quarterfinal vs. West Bend-Mallard, outscoring the Wolverines 21-5 in the first quarter and winning 60-32. The Wolves (14-7) will now face Newell-Fonda (14-8) in a district semifinal Tuesday (...
 Creston’s Colby Burg is guarded by HCHS senior Brett Sears and junior Michael Heithoff. (Photo by Kim Wegener)
 HARLAN (Feb. 15) -- The Harlan Community boys basketball team finished the regular season in thrilling fashion Friday night as junior guard Connor Bruck dribbled the length of the court in the last seven seconds and made a layup ahead of the buzzer, lifting the Cyclones past Creston 64-62. HCHS...
 AHSTW senior Gabe Pauley jumps into the arms of assistant coach Austin Fink as head coach Evan McCarthy looks on following Pauley’s 5-3 sudden-victory decision over Don Bosco’s Thomas Even in Saturday’s Class 1A, 182-pound state title match.
 DES MOINES (Feb. 16) -- Gabe Pauley’s 2018 state title path was a smooth ride to perfection: 56 wins, zero losses and no takedowns allowed until the final period of a 6-5 championship match win at 170 pounds. By comparison, Pauley’s senior year has featured much more adversity along the way, which...

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