The Mt. Pleasant boys’ basketball team now knows what the road to Des Moines will look like in Southeast Iowa. The Panthers received their postseason pairing on Thursday afternoon after coaches from all eight substate teams met up to decide on seedings Wednesday.
In what was no surprise, the Panthers, who got the No. 3 seed, were matched up with a fellow Southeast Conference member in the first round. Mt. Pleasant will be playing Keokuk in the substate quarterfinals in a game that will take place on Monday, Feb. 18, at 6:30 p.m. That game will be played at Fairfield High School.
Mt. Pleasant will be the first game in a doubleheader. Fairfield will be facing Centerville, a team the Trojans beat by 39 points earlier this week, in game two.
The Panthers have split with Keokuk this year, with the road teams winning both games. Mt. Pleasant had four players reach double digits in a 56-48 road win at Keokuk in early December, but the Chiefs got revenge, 54-51 in Mt. Pleasant in mid-January. Keokuk’s Tyjai Mueller had 16 points in their win at Mt. Pleasant.
The winners of the Mt. Pleasant-Keokuk and Fairfield-Centerville games will meet up three days later, on Thursday, Feb. 21, at the highest seed’s home floor. The winner of that game will advance to the substate final on Monday, Feb. 25.
The No. 1 seed in the substate will be Oskaloosa, a team that may have to play without their leading scorer. Senior Cole Henry, who scores 20.7 points per game for the Indians, broke his finger on a dunk attempt last week and hasn’t played since.
Oskaloosa will host two quarterfinal games. The Indians will host winless South Tama in the 8 p.m. game, with Washington and Ft. Madison preceding that game with the No. 4 vs. No. 5 game at 6:30 p.m.
When all is said and done, one team will get a state tournament qualification pennant and compete in the Class 3A state basketball tournament in March.