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    WATERLOO | High school basketball officials around Iowa may be blowing their whistles more often this season. Like their counterparts at the collegiate level, prep refs have been directed by Iowa's respective state high school associations to take a hands-off approach to their enforcement of the game's rules.

      When it comes to conference affiliation, several Northeast Iowa schools have been on the move in recent years. Waterloo Columbus enters the upcoming winter sports season in the midst of its first year in the North Iowa Cedar League. Upper Iowa Conference charter member Sumner-Fredericksburg will join the league next year. Meanwhile, Valley Lutheran in Cedar Falls is taking the next step forward in its upstart athletics department by preparing to join the Iowa Star Conference -- the first league it will be affiliated with in school history.

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