Fairfield draws tough road to state title

The Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union released their 2018 state basketball pairings for all classes Wednesday night and no one will be able to doubt that Fairfield is the top team in Class 4A if they are able to win the tournament.

The 19-4 rollin? Trojans were ranked No. 14 in the final poll and are seeded eighth by the state, meaning they will face the top seed, No. 1 ranked Marion, who is 23-0 on the season.

?We knew we were going to get one of the top two teams,? Fairfield Head Coach Brian Witzenburg told The Ledger after learning the Trojans? draw. ?At this point of the season it doesn?t matter who you play, we just need to stay focused and play hard.?

Tipoff is scheduled for 6:45 p.m. Monday at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines, with Fairfield designated as the away team which means they will wear orange jerseys.

Tipoff is approximate as the Trojans game will follow the first 4A quarterfinal between fourth-seeded 21-3 Center Point-Urbana and fifth-seeded 22-1 Boone who are scheduled for 5 p.m. but are the fifth game of the day themselves.

The Indians and Stormin? Pointers are not only both ranked in the top five in the state, but both compete in the same eight-team western division of the WaMaC conference, with Marion claiming the title and CP-U finishing runners-up. Boone easily won the Raccoon River conference championship by eight games and is ranked No. 6 by the IGHSAU.

The bottom half of the bracket is mostly made up of far western teams that Fairfield would never play outside of the state tournament.

The most eastern team on the bottom half is No. 3 ranked and seeded Grinnell who thumped their Little Hawkeye Conference rivals from Pella by 39 points in the region six final Wednesday night to earn the final spot in the bracket.

They will face No. 7 ranked and sixth-seeded Mason City who is 14-9 overall, but who resides in the mostly Class 5A Central Iowa Metro League that has the No. 3 and No. 4 ranked teams from the states largest schools in their six-team ?Iowa? division alone.

They also have another three ranked 5A teams in the Central and Metro divisions that all play each other.

The final quarterfinal will be played Tuesday morning at 10 a.m., and is between 22-0 No. 2 ranked and seeded Lewis Central who claimed the Hawkeye 10 conference title over Class 3A state qualifier Red Oak, and 17-6 LeMars who finished third in the Lakes Conference behind 21-3 Cherokee and 20-4 Western Christian who both lost in their Class 3A and 2A regional finals, respectively.

If the boys? team beats Solon tonight, their regional final woud also be Monday night, with tipoff at 7 p.m. in Muscatine.