Xavier opens girls' basketball season with a convincing win

Saints rule the glass, whip Assumption, 63-42

CEDAR RAPIDS — The Xavier Saints didn’t stand still, didn’t stand pat.

Not when the ball was bouncing off the rim. And not when it was in the hands of their point guard.

Class 4A 13th-ranked Xavier obliterated 3A No. 6 Davenport Assumption on the glass and picked up a 63-42 non-conference girls’ basketball triumph Friday night at Ron Thillen Gymnasium.

“Not bad for an opener,” Xavier Coach Tom Lilly said. “Not bad at all.”

Xavier (1-0) owned a whopping 56-23 rebounding advantage and forced the Knights (0-1) into 22-percent shooting (13-of-60).

“We knew we had to move our feet and play fast,” said senior Amelia Ivester, who snagged 13 rebounds to go with eight points.

The Saints got 43 points out of their sophomores, led by Libby Arnold’s 19. Caitlynn Daniels tacked on 16 points, nine boards, seven assists and four steals.

“If you’re moving, Caitlynn is probably going to find you,” Lilly said.

Maria Steffen added 12 rebounds, Emily Jasper eight.

Both of these teams reached the state tournament last year (Xavier advanced to the 4A semifinals). After the first quarter, the Saints were firmly in control.

Down 12-8 early in the second period, Xavier outscored Assumption 16-3 through the rest of the half and took a 24-15 advantage into the locker room.

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Assumption got within eight points twice in the second half, the last time at 46-38 on Carlye Brown’s 3-pointer with 5:30 to go. But Xavier scored the next 10 points — four by Ivester — and won going away.

“We had a size difference, and we were aggressively going after the ball,” Lilly said. “Rebounding is kind of like shooting free throws. Either you have it or you don’t have it.”

Friday, the Saints had it.

Brown led Assumption with 14 points. The Knights hoisted 34 shots from behind the 3-point arc, making eight.

CEDAR RAPIDS XAVIER 63, DAVENPORT ASSUMPTION 42

At C.R. Xavier

DAVENPORT ASSUMPTION (42): Bailey Brown 4-15 0-0 12, Molly Gervase 1-2 2-2 4, Carlye Brown 5-16 2-4 14, Hannah Wislander 0-3 1-2 1, Grace Jacobsen 0-5 0-0 0, Delaney Brown 1-10 3-4 5, Caroline Crosby 0-4 0-0 0, Olivia Wardlow 0-0 0-0 0, Allie Timmons 0-0 0-0 0, Lauren Herrig 2-5 0-0 6. Totals 13-60 8-12 42.

C.R. XAVIER (63): Caitlynn Daniels 3-9 10-12 16, Libby Arnold 9-12 1-1 19, Maria Steffen 3-11 1-1 7, Amelia Ivester 4-8 0-1 8, Emily Jasper 2-4 1-2 5, Aubrey Jones 2-7 0-0 4, Avery Campbell 0-0 0-0 0, Julia Shoger 2-2 0-0 4, Jenae Marshall 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 25-53 13-17 63.

Halftime: Xavier 24, Assumption 15. 3-point goals: Assumption 8-34 (B.Brown 4-10, C.Brown 2-8, Jacobsen 0-3, D.Brown 0-6, Crosby 0-3, Herrig 2-4), Xavier 0-1 (Daniels 0-1). Team fouls: Assumption 19, Xavier 13. Fouled out: Jacobsen. Rebounds: Assumption 23 (Jacobsen 5), Xavier 56 (Ivester 13). Assists: Assumption 7 (Gervase 2), Xavier 12 (Daniels 7). Steals: Assumption 11 (Gervase 3), Xavier 10 (Daniels, Jones 4). Turnovers: Assumption 12, Xavier 23.

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

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