DCG girls basketball looks to continue building off state tournament appearance

Sean Cordy, Correspondent
Special to the Chief
DCG's Emma Miner goes down the court during 4A quarterfinals between Dallas Center-Grimes and Bondurant-Farrar on March 2, 2021.

Coming off a state tournament appearance and Little Hawkeye title, the Mustangs have another big season in their sights but will have to make some adjustments without a couple of key components that made last year possible.

Returning

While the Mustangs have a bevy of talent returning, there's no denying the impact that 2021 graduate Julia Reis played. The team's leading scorer with 11.2 points per game and go-to perimeter shooter (33 of 88 three-pointers), Reis seemed to always fall in place at the right time.

That's a trait shared by most of the roster, including Ella Lampe. The team's assist leader with nearly four dishes per game, Lampe played a crucial role in the team's comeback win against Bondurant-Farrar in the state tournament opening round when she led the team with 10 points. She was also second in the conference in total steals, a backbone of DCG's defense.

Dallas Center-Grimes' Ella Lampe looks for a pass during 4A quarterfinals between Dallas Center-Grimes and Bondurant-Farrar on March 2, 2021.

Dallas Center also brings back its No. 2 scorer Emma Miner whose 49 percent shooting from the perimeter led the league. Avery Korsching also returns with some swift hands on defense, reeling in two steals per game.

All together, they look to keep up DCG's impressive streak of 13 wins or more dating back to 2007. And of note, the team began and ended last season with losses to Ballard. The Mustangs once again start their season against the state champs.  

Conference

Any given day, a new team from the Little Hawkeye could step up. While DCG bagged the league title, not even the Mustangs were completely invulnerable, as second-place Indianola handed them their only loss in the conference. From there it was rough knuckles as Grinnell, Norwalk and Pella all had .500 records or better. Even Pella Christian earned a win over their crosstown rivals.

Avery Korsching hauls in a rebound on Friday, Nov. 20, 2020, against Ballard.

And there could be some significant shakeup coming to the conference's power dynamics sans some of the top performers of yesteryear. Of the Little Hawkeye's top 15 rebounders, eight were seniors. Seven of the top scorers also graduated, leaving room for a wide range of role players to step into larger roles and provide new wrinkles for the Mustangs et al.

But that's not without exception. Ivey Schmidt comes back for her senior season with Grinnell, looking to defend her scoring title and move the Wildcats up the leaderboard as does Indianola's leading scorer. And watch for Norwalk to make some noise behind Ava Johnson who has the potential to be the league's double-double leader after a stellar freshman campaign on a competitive roster.