Third-ranked Iowa City West girls' basketball doubles up Cedar Rapids Jefferson, 70-35

Girls' basketball: West (2-0, 1-0 MVC) led by Logan Cook with 18 points, 13 for Lauren Zacharias

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CEDAR RAPIDS — Iowa City West girls’ basketball coach BJ Mayer has a plan for senior guard Rachael Saunders’ return to action.

Judging by the collection of scorers and defenders throughout his roster, the Women of Troy should be just fine in the meantime.

“We’re trying to make her be 100 percent and then we’ll ease her back in,” Mayer said after Class 5A No. 3 West scored the first 15 points of the game and routed Cedar Rapids Jefferson, 70-35, in a Mississippi Valley Conference girls’ basketball opener Tuesday night at Jefferson High School. “Hopefully we’re building a little bit of depth right now with some of the young kids that are playing.”

Saunders — a Creighton recruit — tore her left ACL during last season’s state-tournament march to the 5A semifinals and is expected back sometime after winter break with a goal of being full-strength by the end of January. She cheered on junior point guard Lauren Zacharias, who picked up the slack with three 3-pointers and scored all 13 of her points in the first half.

“We have a big target on our back and we all know that,” Zacharias said. “We’re just expecting everybody to come after us this year. We’re ready for them.”

University of Iowa signee Logan Cook led all scorers with 18 points, while juniors Cailyn Morgan and Emma Koch added eight apiece. Cook, who made five 3-pointers in 25 games last season, drilled two Tuesday night and has three through two games.

“It’s something I have been trying to work on just so I can expand the range of where I am taking my shots,” Cook said. “I don’t want to be limited to just the inside.”

West (2-0, 1-0 MVC) also used a burst of 18-5 to extend its advantage to 40-10 at halftime and led by as many as 37 points.

Freshman guard Matayia Tellis led the Women of Troy with seven rebounds.

Senior center Erica Oler posted a team-high 10 points and six rebounds for Jefferson (0-3, 0-1), which has played three ranked foes to begin the season.

“Still trying to find our confidence and our cohesiveness together as a group,” Jefferson Coach Jason Edwards said. “Kids playing different roles, believing in themselves and the skill set that they have.”

West hosts 4A No. 13 Cedar Rapids Xavier on Friday, while Jefferson visits Dubuque Hempstead.

AT CEDAR RAPIDS JEFFERSON

Class 5A No. 3 Iowa City West 70, Cedar Rapids Jefferson 35

I.C. West 23 17 17 13—70

C.R. Jefferson 5 5 11 14—35

I.C. WEST (70): Cailyn Morgan 2 3-4 8, Matayia Tellis 2 0-0 4, Lauren Zacharias 5 0-0 13, Sydney Allen 2 0-0 4, Evelyn Lopez 0 0-0 0, Carrie Callahan 1 0-0 2, Grace Schneider 0 2-4 2, Logan Cook 7 2-2 18, Audrey Koch 2 2-2 6, Emma Koch 3 2-2 8, Paige Beckner 2 0-0 5, Totals 24 8-10 70.

C.R. JEFFERSON (35): Sherry Sir 0 0-0 0, Aliyah Walker 0 0-0 0, Kaylee Donner 1 2-4 4, Jenna Griffith 2 0-0 5, Arianna Hawkins 1 1-4 3, Alyson Dahlen-Zeck 0 0-0 0, Lindsey Culver 2 1-2 5, Erica Oler 3 3-3 10, Emily Kuba 1 0-0 3, Melodi Miller 0 0-0 0, Den’edra Hodges 1 0-0 2, Infinity Watkins 1 1-2 3, Totals 12 8-14 35.

Halftime — West, 40-10. Three-point goals — West 7 (Zacharias 3, Cook 2, Morgan 1, Beckner 1), Jefferson 4 (Donner, Culver, Oler, Kuba). Rebounds — West 34 (Tellis 7), Jefferson 20 (Oler 6). Assists — West 12 (Zacharias 3, Beckner 3), Jefferson 6 (Donner 4). Total fouls — West 12, Jefferson 7. Fouled out — None.

l Comments: douglas.miles@thegazette.com

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