Prep Basketball

Iowa City High holds off Cedar Rapids Washington, wins another MVC divisional title

That's 7 straight crowns for the Little Hawks, after a 60-54 triumph

IOWA CITY — It wasn’t a complete conference schedule, and thus, not an undisputed championship.

But there will be no asterisk on the banner, nor should there be. Iowa City High did everything it needed.

Class 5A sixth-ranked City High held off No. 12 Cedar Rapids Washington’s fourth-quarter challenge, and wrapped up its seventh consecutive MVC divisional championship, 60-54, Wednesday night at City High.

“There’s been a little bit of luck, a lot of hard work along the way,” City Coach Bill McTaggart said. “And a lot of talent.”

Five titles in this extended run were solo, two were shared. This one was impacted by weather.

City (17-2 overall, 13-1 MVC) didn’t get to play No. 4 Cedar Falls (18-1, 12-1), which finished a half-game back, due to weather conditions on their originally scheduled date (Jan. 22) and their makeup (Monday).

“It feels strange that we didn’t get to play them,” McTaggart said. “I wish we could have.”

The Little Hawks broke the title tie by building a 15-point third-quarter lead, then holding on by hitting 9 of 10 free throws after Washington (15-5, 11-4) closed within 49-46.

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“We lost a little focus, and that led to some easy baskets for them,” said City junior Aubrey Joens, who scored 22 points — putting her over 1,000 for her career — and grabbed 13 rebounds.

“I didn’t even know (about the milestone). Everyone was telling me about it.”

Rose Nkumu added 20 points, 16 in the first half.

A pair of 7-0 runs in the first half enabled the Little Hawks to take a 31-19 halftime lead. It got to 41-26 before Washington rallied behind freshman Hannah Stuelke.

Burdened by first-half foul trouble, Stuelke scored 14 of her 15 points in the second half, and pulled down 14 rebounds. Sammy Mia paced the Warriors with 17 points.

“The second half was a lot better,” Washington Coach Chris James said. “We attacked a lot better, we were more physical. In the first half, we were shying away from contact.”

Washington did not commit a turnover in the second half.

Both teams open 5A regional play Saturday. City hosts Muscatine; Washington entertains Waterloo West.

IOWA CITY HIGH 60, CEDAR RAPIDS WASHINGTON 54

At Iowa City High

C.R. WASHINGTON (54): Caitlin Riley 5-12 0-0 12, Isa Truemper 1-7 0-0 3, Sammy Mia 6-10 5-8 17, Hannah Stuelke 7-12 1-8 15, Sydney Mitvalsky 3-11 0-0 7, Sydney Engledow 0-0 0-0 0, Marek McBride 0-1 0-0 0, Aerionna Thomas 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 22-53 6-16 54.

IOWA CITY HIGH (60): Rose Nkumu 7-12 5-5 20, Eviyon Richardson 1-3 1-2 3, Ella Cook 2-6 1-2 5, Paige Rocca 4-10 0-0 10, Aubrey Joens 8-18 4-4 22, Andie Westlake 0-0 0-0 0, CeCe Kelly-Harvey 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 22-49 11-13 60.

Halftime: City 31, Washington 19. 3-point goals: Washington 4-18 Riley 2-5, Truemper 1-6, Mia 0-1, Stuelke 0-1, Mitvalsky 1-5), City 5-16 (Nkumu 1-1, RIchardson 0-1, Cook 0-3, Rocca 2-5, Joens 2-6). Team fouls: Washington 15, City 12. Fouled out: none. Rebounds: Washington 30 (Stuelke 14), City 36 (Joens 13). Assists: Washington 9 (Riley 3), City 9 (Nkumu, Richardson 3). Steals: Washington 6 (Mia, Stuelke 2), City 7 (Nkumu, Rocca, Kelly-Harvey 2). Turnovers: Washington 8, City 11.

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

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