MARION - As the prep volleyball season nears the midway point, Cedar Rapids Xavier identified a vital ingredient if the Saints are to retain their No. 1 ranking in Class 4A.
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DES MOINES — For some, an all-state honor is an anticlimatic formality.
Then, there’s Lexi Noonan.
“I’m in shock,” the Cedar Rapids Xavier senior said after learning she was selected to the Iowa Newspaper Association girls’ basketball Class 4A first team. “There are so many great athletes out there. I didn’t expect this at all.
“It’s a real honor, and I couldn’t have gotten it without my great coaching staff and my awesome teammates.”
Ten area girls were named to the first team in their respective classes, and six of them were repeat selections.
Ashley Joens of Iowa City High (5A), Chloe Rice of Marion (4A), Mary Crompton of Iowa City Regina (2A), Mikayla Nachazel and Rylee Menster of Springville (1A) and Shelby Reicks of Turkey Valley (1A) became two-time first-teamers.
Kelsey Hora of Highland moved up from third team to first team in 2A, and Logan Cook of Iowa City West (5A) and Brianna Mensen of Maquoketa Valley (2A) join Noonan as all-state first-timers.
Pocahontas Area dynamo Elle Ruffridge is Miss Iowa Basketball 2017 after completing a brilliant career. The 5-foot-3 guard, bound for Missouri State University, averaged 30.0 points per game and is Iowa’s all-time five-on-five career leader in points (2,951), as well as assists and 3-pointers after leading the Indians to their second straight Class 3A title.
Nachazel and Menster led Springville to its second consecutive 1A championship and a 25-2 record. Both are juniors.
Nachazel averaged 18.8 points and 6.4 rebounds per game and was the 1A all-tournament captain. Menster registered 17.4 points, 3.6 assists and 6.0 steals per contest.
Reicks’ Turkey Valley club was second to Springville each of the past two seasons. The Trojans were 23-3 this year behind Reicks’ 14.3 points, 5.7 assists and 5.8 steals per game.
Marion came within a whisker of joining Springville in the winners’ circle. The Indians fell to North Scott in overtime in the 4A championship game, in which Rice passed the 1,000-point plateau.
A Saint Louis University commitment, Rice averaged 15.4 points and 3.5 assists per game as the Indians finished 24-2. Like Springville, Marion will return nearly intact for another run in 2017-18.
Noonan led Xavier (18-7) on an 11-game winning streak that ended in the 4A semifinals. She posted 14.2 points and 6.0 rebounds per game.
“She really took on a leadership role,” Xavier Coach Tom Lilly said. “Sometimes, you have to decide if you want to steer the boat, and she wasn’t afraid to do that.”
Noonan said, “The only thing that mattered with this team was winning, and I was willing to be a leader when the team needed me to step up.”
An Iowa State recruit and a junior, Joens is a three-time all-stater with a season to go. She was a second-teamer as a freshman before climbing to the top team last year. She averaged 21.1 points and 10.3 rebounds per game as City High went 22-2 and reached the 5A state tournament.
Cook led West (21-4) one step further, to the 5A semifinals. She posted 14.9 points and 6.1 rebounds per contest.
Regina was ranked No. 1 in 2A all season before falling to Western Christian in the state semifinals and finishing 26-1. Crompton averaged 18.0 points per game and shot 47.2 percent from long range and 88.2 percent from the free throw line.
Mensen led Maquoketa Valley to a 19-5 season, averaging 19.3 points, 7.5 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 3.8 steals. Hora scored 18.2 points per game as Highland went 14-7.
Among other Metro/Iowa City players honored, Jefferson’s Kennedy Dighton is a 5A second-teamer, West’s Rachael Saunders is a 5A third-teamer, Marion’s Kayba Laube a 4A second-teamer. Regina’s Sarah Lehman and Alex Wiese were named to the 2A second and third team, respectively.
IOWA NEWSPAPER ASSOCIATION
2017 ALL-STATE GIRLS’ BASKETBALL TEAMS
MISS IOWA BASKETBALL — Elle Ruffridge, 5-3, sr., Pocahontas Area.
Grace Berg, 6-0, jr., Indianola; Logan Cook, 6-1, jr., Iowa City West; Taryn Knuth, 6-4, sr., Johnston; Hannah Fuller, 5-8, sr., West Des Moines Valley; Ashley Joens, 5-11, jr., Iowa City High; Carlie Littlefield, 5-9, sr., Waukee; Jinaya Houston, 6-1, sr., Davenport North.
Kiana Barney, 6-1, jr., Cedar Falls; Paige Bradford, 6-0, jr., Davenport North; Kennedy Dighton, 6-1, sr., Cedar Rapids Jefferson; Maggie McGraw, 5-11, soph., Indianola; Sierra Mitchell, 5-5, sr., Southeast Polk; Ellie Spelhaug, 5-10, jr., Pleasant Valley; Ryan Weiss, 5-9, sr., Ames.
Megan Groneau, 6-4, sr., Dubuque Hempstead; Cynthia Wolf, 6-3, jr., Cedar Falls; Zoe Young, 5-10, soph., West Des Moines Valley; Caitlin Clark, 5-11, fr., West Des Moines Dowling; Kylie Coleman, 5-9, sr., Waukee; Emily Ivory, 5-5, jr., Bettendorf; Rachael Saunders, 5-8, jr., Iowa City West.
Meagan Holt, 5-11, jr., Lewis Central; Lexi Noonan, 5-9, sr., Cedar Rapids Xavier; Lexy Koudelka, 6-2, jr., Nevada; Katie Vander Molen, 5-9, sr., Pella; Chloe Rice, 5-10, jr., Marion; Karli Rucker, 5-6, sr., North Scott; Agatha Beier, 5-9, sr., Carlisle.
Alexis Westercamp, 5-10, sr., Oskaloosa; Madison Drickman, 6-0, soph., LeMars; Claire Sandvig, 6-3, jr., Boone; Kayba Laube, 5-8, fr., Marion; Nichole Buch, 5-9, jr., Fairfield; Megan Meyer, 5-8, soph., Mason City; Morgan Pitz, 5-10, sr., Western Dubuque.
Sienna Durr, 6-0, jr., Grinnell; Kiara Bradley, 5-11, sr., Pella; Keely Petzenhauser, 5-10, jr., Spencer; Abby Wisecup, 5-8, soph., Sergeant Bluff-Luton; Madison Wilkins, 5-6, sr., Grinnell; Grace Marburger, 5-4, sr., Perry; Katie Harken, 5-11, sr., Waverly-Shell Rock.
Lexi Toering, 5-10, jr., Sioux Center; Jasmine Harris, 5-10, sr., Davenport Assumpton; Grace Meyer, 5-9, sr., Pocahontas Area; Elle Ruffridge, 5-3, sr., Pocahontas Area; Payton Slaughter, 5-5, soph., Cherokee; Ellie Friesen, 5-3, jr., Crestwood; Emily Snelling, 5-6, sr., Clear Lake.
Maddie Miller, 5-10, jr., Algona; Allie Wooldridge, 6-1, jr., Center Point-Urbana; Kaitlyn Volesky, 5-10, sr., Mount Vernon; Isabelle Gradwell, 6-0, jr., West Marshall; Faith Meyer, 5-8, sr., Pocahontas Area; Paityn Hagberg, 5-4, jr., Cherokee; Hannah Anderson, 5-7, jr., Forest City.
Shannon Pisney, 5-9, jr., Crestwood; Courtney Schnoor, 6-1, sr., Camanche; Jessica Musgrave, 5-9, soph., South Tama; Regan Freland, 5-9, fr., Monroe PCM; Jordyn Van Maanen, 5-6, jr., Sioux Center; Anna Brown, 5-10, soph., Spirit Lake; Logan Ehlers, 6-1, sr., Shenandoah.
Ashtyn Veerbeek, 6-2, jr., Western Christian; Gracey Griglione, 6-1, sr., Interstate 35; Kelcie Shields, 6-1, sr., Mount Ayr; Mary Crompton, 5-8, jr., Iowa City Regina; Kelsey Hora, 5-1, sr., Highland; Mackenzie Rogers, 5-8, jr., Mediapolis; Brianna Mensen, 5-11, sr., Maquoketa Valley.
Ashley Tull, 5-11, jr., North Linn; Madelyn Deitchler, 5-10, jr., Treynor; Alli Masters, 5-10, soph., Central Decatur; Mackenzie Roberts, 5-9, sr., Van Meter; Kaylee Parks, 5-6, jr., Central Springs; Konnor Sudmann, sr., Treynor; Sarah Lehman, 5-10, sr., Iowa City Regina.
Erika Feenstra, 6-1, sr., Western Christian; Maci Gambell, 5-10, jr., Pekin; Emma Atwood, 5-10, soph., Central Decatur; Taylor Rodenburg, 5-8, jr., West Sioux; Kenzie Cunard, 5-7, jr., Logan-Magnolia; Emma Staudt, 5-9, sr., Rockford; Alex Wiese, 6-0, soph., Iowa City Regina.
Mikayla Nachazel, 5-11, jr., Springville; Marissa Schroeder, 6-1, sr., Bellevue Marquette; Sophia Peppers, 5-10, jr., Exira-EHK, Rylee Menster, 5-6, jr., Springville; Shelby Reicks, 5-11, sr., Turkey Valley; Kelly Leerar, 5-7, jr., West Hancock; Tori Hazard, 5-10, sr., Janesville.
Addison Hirschman, 6-2, jr., Kingsley-Pierson; Julia Fleecs, 6-2, sr., Glidden-Ralston; Carah Drees, 6-1, soph., Westwood; Erin Gerke, 5-7, sr., Newell-Fonda; Johanna Myers, 6-0, sr., Burlington Notre Dame; Jenna Boelter, 5-6, jr., Algona Garrigan; Morgen Kuennen, 5-11, sr., Turkey Valley.
Brenna Lanser, 5-9, sr., Lynnville-Sully; Maddi Brandt, 5-11, sr., Ackley AGWSR; Alyssa Jaeger, 5-11, jr., Springville; Megan Stubbs, 5-7, sr., Grand View Christian; Ashley Funk, 5-7, sr., Elkader Central; Madison Forbes, 5-6, sr., Lone Tree; Blaire Sonderleiter, 6-0, sr., Garwin GMG.
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