CEDAR RAPIDS - Cedar Rapids Jefferson was anxious to see if 2016 would be a year of reconstruction or merely a reload.
Against an experienced Pleasant Valley team, the J-Hawks learned they have a ways to go.
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IOWA CITY — City High girls basketball coach Bill McTaggart thought the game might have surpassed the slugfest with Cedar Rapids Washington.
“I thought that game lasted five hours,” he said of the Washington game.
This one was just 40 minutes but seemed an eternity, as seventh-ranked Iowa City High rallied for a 70-67 double OT victory over rival Iowa City West at a jam-packed West High gym.
West built a lead as big as 10 points in the first half and settled for a 29-21 halftime lead. The Women of Troy were spurred by 17 points off the bench including eight from Katie McGrane and five from Maddie Fay.
“We don’t have a lot of stars,” West Coach B.J. Mayer said. “We have to get contributions from a lot of people.”
West (5-2, 7-2) still led by eight to start the fourth period, but City finally shook off the effects of West’s “junk” defense that shadowed Courtney and Ashley Joens and plugged up the lane. Courtney Joens hit a 24-foot 3-pointer to draw City within two. West built the lead to seven, but City closed by scoring in seven consecutive possessions to tie the game 54-all at the end of regulation.
“(City) picked up the pressure,” Mayer said. “We turned it over two or three times in a row. We knew they’d make a run. It was a matter of could we maintain our poise and this time we didn’t.”
“We kept our composure, and we kept shooting,” Courtney Joens said.
City led by two in the first overtime, but West’s Logan Cook swished an 18-footer from the wing at the horn to send the game to the second overtime. City built a 67-60 lead as guard Rose Gamamou made a floater down the lane on her first shot attempt and the Joens sisters scored five and Kenya Earl added a basket.
“My coach wasn’t telling me not to shoot, so I felt like I had to shoot it,” Gamamou said.
But back West came with a three from Emma Koch, two foul shots from Katie McGrane and a drive by Lauren Zacharias. But Courtney Joens shut the door by making two foul shots with 14.6 seconds left. West’s last-second 3-pointer misfired.
City is 9-1 and 5-1 and atop the Mississippi division of the MVC.