The Creston girls used the first nine games of the season to erase jitters from inexperience. But three-year starter Brielle Baker has taken the reins while her teammates get acclimated, averaging 21.2 points per game and 5.3 rebounds for a 3-6 Creston team that lost four straight before the break.

The senior and UNO signee placed ninth in the shot put at the Drake Relays last year, and placed fifth in Class 3-A at state. On Friday, she will enter the 2017 Drake Relays with the fourth-best throw in the state (44-2).

The Panthers forced turnovers on all four of Glenwood’s fourth-quarter possessions, and sophomore Kylan Smallwood’s 33-yard touchdown pass to Zach Carlson with 9:45 left stood for the winning score in the Panthers’ 27-24 Class 3-A, District 7 victory over Glenwood.

Chase Shiltz finds another gear whenever he plays Harlan. Last fall, the Creston-Orient/Macksburg running back had a huge hand in ending the Cyclones’ season when he totaled 370 yards and four touchdowns in a 34-11 Panther postseason triumph.

Creston’s Taylor Briley got her team off to a promising start Wednesday with a first-inning solo home run. But the Panthers would get only one more hit the rest of the way as Fairfield took the Class 4-A first-round game.

The Creston/Orient-Macksburg wrestlers didn’t need any extra motivation entering Thursday’s state tournament. But then the Panthers on Wednesday came a whisker short of beating eventual Class 2-A state dual champion Davenport Assumption in the semifinals. Coach Darrell Frain was asked if that perhaps sharpened their focus.

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