After treading water for nearly the entire season Johnston is two wins away from a second straight 4A championship. The Dragons upset second ranked Waukee in the opening round of the state tournament and take a five game winning streak into tonight’s semifinal round matchup against fourth ranked Iowa City West.

“We lost 16 seniors from last year’s team so we know we’d be replacing most of our positions and all of our pitchers. But I am bless at Johnston, we’ve got good parents we’ve got good youth coaches, we’ve got a good youth program. They come to me pretty polished, I just get them going in the right direction,” Johnston coach Michael Barta says.

And he says the Dragons have put things together at the right time. “There’s not a day that goes by that we don’t talk about being competative and being fierce. That’s part of who we are. We like to think that when we come out in the Johnston jerseys that people are a little concerned,” Barta says.

Top ranked Dubuque Hemstead will be eighth rated Southeast Polk in the other 4A semifinal. State regulators approved a project Thursday to allow the new land-based Davenport casino to proceed.