Prep Basketball

Quick-handed Iowa City High handles Cedar Rapids Xavier, 72-46

Girls' basketball: Second-quarter surge sends Little Hawks to 13-0

CEDAR RAPIDS — Before the game, Bill McTaggart presented Tom Lilly with a bowling ball, a gag gift stemming from Lilly’s trademark shoes.

Then it was McTaggart’s team that continued to roll.

Class 5A top-ranked Iowa City High stymied 4A No. 12 Cedar Rapids Xavier with its quick hands, forcing 25 turnovers in a 72-46 Mississippi Valley Conference girls’ basketball victory Friday night at Ron Thillen Gymnasium.

“We have a lot of players with a lot of quickness,” said City’s Rose Nkumu, who certainly qualifies. “We just want to get to where the ball goes.”

The Little Hawks grabbed 17 steals and improved to 13-0 overall, 7-0 in the MVC.

McTaggart wasn’t completely impressed.

“It was probably our worst performance of the year,” he said. “Xavier exposed some things that we need to fix, or we’re not going to finish our ultimate goal.”

Xavier (7-7, 4-3) was right there for most of the first quarter, trailing just 15-14 before five quick City points put the Little Hawks in front, 20-14.

By halftime, it was 35-20.

“You can play with them for a while, then they get you with a quick 10-0 run and you look up and think, ‘What just happened?’” Lilly said. “They really get in your grill all the time, off makes and misses.”

“When we get a couple steals, everybody gets into it and it kick-starts our offense,” Nkumu said.

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One of the leading candidates for Miss Iowa Basketball 2018, City senior Ashley Joens was a modest 6-of-15 from the floor, but still registered 25 points and nine rebounds despite game-long foul trouble.

Nkumu added 13 points, Aubrey Jones and Ella Cook tallied nine each, and Paige Rocca registered eight points, six assists and four steals.

Caitlynn Daniels paced Xavier with 16 points. Emily Jasper added 10.

IOWA CITY HIGH 72, CEDAR RAPIDS XAVIER 46

At C.R. Xavier

IOWA CITY HIGH (72): Rose Nkumu 4-9 5-6 13, Ashley Joens 6-15 10-11 25, Paige Rocca 3-6 2-2 8, Aubrey Joens 4-14 0-0 9, Samantha Greving 2-3 0-0 4, Ayana Lindsey 1-2 0-0 3, Ella Cook 3-7 0-0 9, Virginia Muturi 0-2 1-2 1, Shevonna Norris 0-0 0-0 0, Emily Knoche 0-0 0-0 0, Skye Spencer 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 23-58 18-21 72.

C.R. XAVIER (46): Caitlynn Daniels 5-8 4-5 16, Libby Arnold 1-6 2-4 4, Maria Steffen 2-4 0-2 5, Amelia Ivester 2-4 0-0 4, Emily Jasper 5-9 0-0 10, Jenae Marshall 1-2 0-0 2, Aubrey Jones 0-4 0-0 0, Julia Shoger 0-2 3-6 3, Paige Diebold 0-0 0-0 0, Avery Campbell 0-0 0-0 0, Caitlin Kramer 0-0 0-0 0, Kiley McAleer 1-2 0-0 2, Lindsey Winger 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 17-41 9-17 46.

Halftime: City 35, Xavier 20. 3-point goals: City 8-21 (Nkumu 0-2, Ash.Joens 3-4, Rocca 0-2, Aub.Joens 1-6, Lindsey 1-1, Cook 3-4, Muturi 0-2), Xavier 3-7 (Daniels 2-3, Arnold 0-1, Steffen 1-1, Marshall 0-1, McAleer 0-1). Team fouls: City 18, Xavier 19. Fouled out: None. Rebounds: City 34 (Ash.Joens 9), Xavier 32 (four with 4). Assists: City 14 (Rocca 6), Xavier 5 (Daniels 3). Steals: City 17 (Rocca 4), Xavier 2 (Daniels, Kramer). Turnovers: City 11, Xavier 25.

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

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