Prep Basketball

Freshman Hannah Stuelke playing beyond her years for Cedar Rapids Washington

Stuelke has 77 points in last 3 games, including 26 in a 62-26 rout of Cedar Rapids Jefferson

Cedar Rapids Washington's Hannah Stuelke (in red headband) celebrates with her teammates after winning a girls' basketball game earlier this season. (Stephen Mally/The Gazette)
Cedar Rapids Washington's Hannah Stuelke (in red headband) celebrates with her teammates after winning a girls' basketball game earlier this season. (Stephen Mally/The Gazette)

CEDAR RAPIDS — Hannah Stuelke does not play basketball like a typical freshman.

The 6-foot-1 forward is the leading scorer for a Cedar Rapids Washington team ranked No. 12 in Class 5A. If recent play is any predictor, her scoring average will only continue to go up.

“The team makes it easy,” Stuelke said after she scored 26 points in a 62-26 Washington win over Cedar Rapids Jefferson in a Mississippi Valley Conference girls’ basketball game Friday night at Washington High School. “We’re all just so close.”

Stuelke has poured in 77 points in her last three games, including a career-high 27 in a 71-37 home victory against Dubuque Senior on Thursday.

Stuelke now averages over 16 points per game.

“We just get the ball around,” Stuelke said. “Everyone is passing, making sure we get good connections to each other.”

Not only has Stuelke successfully dealt with the adjustment to varsity high school ball, she is also getting acclimated to her new position in the post. Her height and exceptional passing and leaping ability have been real assets for Washington Coach Chris James.

“She’s got a lot of tools,” James said. “Being more assertive down low has been helpful for us, having that post presence. She’s been able to step out for us. … Seeing the floor, understanding when teams are going to collapse on her, finding her open teammates. That is a huge part of it.”

Senior guard Caitlyn Riley scored 11 points – including three 3-point baskets – for Washington (14-2, 10-2 MVC). Sophomore guard Sydney Mitvalsky added seven, while senior Isa Truemper and Mount Mercy signee Sammy Mia each chipped in five.

Jefferson (1-15, 0-10) was led by junior Jenna Griffith and sophomore Kalyn Wise, who each scored five points.

After back-to-back losses last week to Prairie and Kennedy, Washington brings two resounding victories into a game at No. 1 Iowa City High on Tuesday, the first of three remaining regular-season tussles before regional play begins Feb. 16.

“We’re going to work hard, we’re going to work together,” Stuelke said. “We’re going to go as far as we can.”

Girls’ basketball

AT CEDAR RAPIDS WASHINGTON

Class 5A No. 12 Cedar Rapids Washington 62, Cedar Rapids Jefferson 26

C.R. JEFFERSON (26): Hannah Hoeger 0 0-0 0, Kalyn Wise 2 1-2 5, Arianna Hawkins 2 0-0 4, Kanvee Kaba 0 0-0 0, Jada Platt 0 0-0 0, Jenna Griffith 1 3-5 5, Emma Jellison 0 0-0 0, Holly Madsen 0 0-0 0, Lara Van den Bosch 0 0-0 0, Bianca Phillips 0 0-0 0, Infinity Watkins 2 0-2 4, Grace Jellison 2 0-0 4, Aliyah Walker 1 2-2 4, Totals 10 6-11 26.

C.R. WASHINGTON (62): Caitlin Riley 4 0-0 11, Sydney Engledow 1 0-0 3, Aeri Thomas 0 0-0 0, Lauren Pakulis 0 0-0 0, Marek McBride 1 0-0 3, Isa Temper 2 0-0 5, Sami Squires 0 0-0 0, Audrey Fashimpaur 0 0-0 0, Sammy Mia 2 1-1 5, Hannah Stuelke 10 6-7 26, Deja Redmond 1 0-1 2, Sydney Mitvalsky 3 0-0 7, Jaliea Havel 0 0-0 0, Totals 24 7-9 62.

Halftime — Washington, 25-13. Three-point goals — Jefferson 0, Washington 7 (Riley 3, Engledow 1, McBride 1, Mitvalsky 1, Truemper 1). Total fouls — Jefferson 9, Washington 13. Fouled out — None.

l Comments: douglas.miles@thegazette.com

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