Prep Basketball

Emily Jasper hopes to lead Xavier back to state basketball

HS journalism: Lone senior also is 4-year letterwinner and captain

Cedar Rapids Xavier’s Emily Jasper takes a shot under pressure from Cedar Rapids Prairie’s Makenna Moenk during a game last season. Jasper is the only senior on the Saints’ roster this season. (Cliff Jette/The Gazette)
Cedar Rapids Xavier’s Emily Jasper takes a shot under pressure from Cedar Rapids Prairie’s Makenna Moenk during a game last season. Jasper is the only senior on the Saints’ roster this season. (Cliff Jette/The Gazette)

CEDAR RAPIDS — Emily Jasper takes her leadership role on the Xavier girls’ basketball team seriously.

Not only is Jasper the lone senior and a four-year varsity letterwinner, she also is one of the three captains — along with juniors Libby Arnold and Caitlynn Daniels.

“As a captain, I have to make sure everyone knows what they are doing on the court and help them if they do not,” Jasper said.

The Saints are not a tall team, so they have to emphasize speed over height this season.

“On the court we have a lot of speed which helps us, but I think the strongest aspect of the team is how close everyone on the team is off the court,” Jasper said. “Everyone is friends on our team, and we hang out outside of practice a lot.”

Daniels agrees the closeness of this team has correlated to success.

“I think we work so well together on the court because of our chemistry off it,” Daniels said. “When we are together, there is not a time when we are not laughing or having fun.”

Although Xavier has a good bond, there still are aspects of the game they are working on to improve.

“Our team needs to work on defense because that is our weakest point right now,” Jasper said. “Coach (Tom Lilly) has helped in making the team better by adjusting plays and drills at practice.”

As always, the goal for the team is to make it back to state. The Saints (9-5) will continue their trek tonight, hosting Iowa City West in a makeup from last Friday,. Tipoff is set for 7:30 p.m.

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