'Competitive fire' ignites Ashley Joens, who boosts City High

Girls' basketball: Senior's 36 points propel Little Hawks past Kennedy

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IOWA CITY — For opponents, facing Ashley Joens is a horror flick.

A slasher story, to be specific.

Joens feasted at the free-throw line — and everywhere else, for that matter — and led Class 5A third-ranked Iowa City High past Cedar Rapids Kennedy, 82-51, in a Mississippi Valley Conference girls’ basketball game Friday night at City High.

The Iowa State University signee drew contact all night, finishing with 36 points, 15 rebounds and eight steals. She took 17 free-throw attempts, making 12.

“She’s such a good slasher,” City Coach Bill McTaggart said. “When she gets to the Big 12, she’s going to get a ton of rebounds.”

So what makes a “slasher?” Talent? Instincts?

“It’s just competitive fire,” Joens said. “I want to win, and I’ll do anything to do it. Get to the basket, kick to my teammates, whatever.”

City High (2-0 overall, 2-0) broke it open early in the second quarter.

Kennedy (1-1, 1-1) — which appears to be significantly improved from last year’s 6-17 outfit — battled to a 19-all deadlock through the first nine minutes behind Hailey Dolphin, who scored 27 points of her own.

Then the Little Hawks rattled off a 22-4 run through the rest of the half and took a 41-23 margin into the locker room.

“(Kennedy) couldn’t miss at the start,” McTaggart said. “We started playing better defense the last five minutes of the second quarter, and defense leads to our offense.”

Joens had 22 points by halftime. Rose Nkumu added 16 points, Paige Rocca 10.

“Rose is going to have to step up for us offensively, and she’s off to a good start,” McTaggart said. “We played much better defense than we did in the first game. It’s a work in progress.”

City High enjoyed a 36-16 rebounding bulge and forced the Cougars into 21 turnovers (15 on steals).

Joens is a senior in a starting lineup that features four sophomores.

“My role is to guide them any way possible, help show them what will work best,” she said.

IOWA CITY HIGH 82, CEDAR RAPIDS KENNEDY 51

At Iowa City High

C.R. KENNEDY (51): Hailey Dolphin 9-15 7-9 27, Madison Friauf 1-4 2-2 4, Olivia Hellweg 1-4 2-2 4, Ashley Vis 1-2 2-2 5, Auddie Alepra 0-5 0-2 0, Sadie Powell 2-2 1-2 5, Laila Sain 0-1 0-0 0, Sophia Barrett 0-0 1-2 1, Lauryn Vaske 1-1 0-1 2, Camryn Ray 0-1 1-2 1, Maya Fitzpatrick 0-1 0-0 0, Tessa Steffen 1-2 0-0 2, Kendal Runels 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 16-38 16-24 51.

IOWA CITY HIGH (82): Rose Nkumu 7-11 2-2 16, Ashley Joens 12-19 12-17 36, Paige Rocca 3-5 1-2 10, Aubrey Joens 3-14 1-2 8, Samantha Greving 1-1 0-0 2, Ella Cook 1-2 0-1 3, Ayana Lindsey 1-2 3-4 5, Ashley Kuennen 0-0 2-2 2, Virginia Muturi 0-0 0-0 0, Emily Knoche 0-0 0-0 0, Skye Spencer 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 28-54 21-30 82.

Halftime: City 41, Kennedy 23. 3-point goals: Kennedy 3-10 (Dolphin 2-5, Friauf 0-2, Hellweg 0-1, Vis 1-2), City 5-11 (Rocca 3-4, Aub. Joens 1-6, Cook 1-1). Team fouls: Kennedy 22, City 19. Fouled out: none. Rebounds: Kennedy 16 (Alepra 3), City 36 (Ash. Joens 15). Assists: Kennedy 10 (three with 2), City 8 (Rocca 4). Steals: Kennedy 7 (Dolphin 3), City 15 (Ash. Joens 8). Turnovers: Kennedy 21, City 13.

l Comments: (319) 368-8857; jeff.linder@thegazette.com

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