MASON CITY – The blue banners hang prominently on the west wall of the Mason City High School gym
Those banners represent the recent success of the Mohawks girls basketball team, a team that has reached the state tournament in five of the past seven seasons and includes a Class 4A state championship in 2016.
On Saturday, Feb. 17, the Mohawks moved within a game of adding a sixth banner to the collection as they ran away from Webster City 80-51 in regional semifinal play.
Megan Meyer, the fourth-leading scorer in Iowa girls basketball this season, went off for 37 points, including 20 in the second quarter alone, to lead the Mohawks.
Anna Deets and Jaeda Whitner added 10 each.
It will be a bit of déjà vu for the Mohawks as they will face Waverly-Shell Rock in regional final play on Tuesday, Feb. 20.
Mason City downed W-SR 55-54 to advance out of regionals in its victorious 2016 run.
“This team is different,” Mohawks coach Curt Klaahsen said when asked how the current team compares to the 2016 squad. “That team had eight seniors. This one has just two.”
Only three players on this season’s Mason City roster -- Meyer, Hannah Faktor and Autum Anderson --played on the championship team two seasons ago.
Since that title, Klaahsen has retooled his roster with athletic young players who average 10 points per game more than the 2016 team.
“This is a unique group,” Klaahsen said. “They are a little better offensively, but they are more laid back.”
While the 2016 averaged 55 points per game, this year’s Mohawks have eclipsed that average in 20 of their 22 games and have scored 70 or more 11 times.
In Waverly-Shell Rock, the Mohawks will see a team they defeated 74-60 earlier this season.
If Mason City’s pressing defense helps the Mohawks get out and run, there very well could be a sixth banner going up on the west wall.