Prep Basketball

Iowa City High girls' basketball cools Linn-Mar

Aubrey Joens, Rose Nkumu combine for 49 points in Little Hawks' 77-40 win

MARION — Bill McTaggart is a coach. And, on occasion, a storyteller.

But we’ll take him at his word on this one:

“I watched more tape on (Linn-Mar) than I had on anybody this year,” McTaggart said. “We were very nervous coming into this game.”

And very sharp once they got here.

Aubrey Joens tallied 27 points, Rose Nkumu tacked on 22 and Class 5A top-ranked Iowa City High cooled the Lions, 77-40, in a Mississippi Valley Conference girls’ basketball game Tuesday night at Linn-Mar High School.

“We’ve been playing better since the break,” Nkumu said. “We were moving the ball well and that opened a lot of gaps.”

The Little Hawks (12-0, 8-0) opened a substantial gap on the scoreboard with a 13-0 run after Linn-Mar had tied the game, 8-8.

It was 32-14 at halftime, and the outcome was never in doubt.

Linn-Mar (6-8, 4-4) had won four of its previous five games.

“This was a good game for us to play,” Lions Coach Nate Sanderson said. “Joens is a tough matchup, and it’s hard for anybody to stay in front of (Nkumu).

“And if the supporting cast drops bombs like they did tonight, I don’t know if anybody can beat them.”

State runners-up last year, the Little Hawks lost Miss Iowa Basketball 2018 Ashley Joens — now at Iowa State — to graduation. But the winning continues; City has strung together 39 consecutive regular-season victories.

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“Losing Ashley, I think that brought us even closer together because we have to hold each other accountable,” said Nkumu, who also posted eight rebounds and six steals.

Aubrey Joens was 9 of 14 from the floor, including 4 of 5 from long range. Ella Cook added 12 points, and Paige Rocca contributed seven points and six assists.

Macey Miller led Linn-Mar with eight points.

City High attempted 26 more shots from the field due of a 37-24 rebounding advantage, in addition to Linn-Mar’s 20 turnovers.

IOWA CITY HIGH 77, LINN-MAR 40

At Linn-Mar

IOWA CITY HIGH (77): Rose Nkumu 9-17 4-6 22, Eviyon Richardson 1-3 0-0 2, Ella Cook 5-8 0-0 12, Paige Rocca 3-11 0-0 7, Aubrey Joens 9-14 5-5 27, Andie Westlake 1-1 0-0 2, CeCe Kelly-Harvey 0-1 0-0 0, Virginia Maturi 0-4 0-0 0, Carey Koenig 1-1 0-0 3, Kacie Earl 0-3 2-2 2, Georgie Kimm 0-0 0-0 0, Emily Knoche 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 29-63 11-13 77.

LINN-MAR (40): Keegan Krejca 3-5 0-0 6, Macey Miller 0-6 8-8 8, Hallie Peak 1-4 0-0 2, Alexis Beier 3-8 0-1 6, Carly Printy 2-6 1-2 5, Molly Chmelicek 1-2 1-2 3, Jamison Feldman 0-0 0-0 0, Emma Casebolt 1-2 0-0 3, Marissa Miller 1-3 2-2 4, Caelynn Obleton 0-1 3-4 2. Totals 12-37 15-19 40.

Halftime: City 32, Linn-Mar 14. 3-point goals: City 8-16 (Richardson 0-1, Cook 2-2, Rocca 1-6, Joens 4-5, Muturi 0-1, Koenig 1-1), Linn-Mar 1-12 (Krejca 0-1, Macey Miller 0-2, Peak 0-1, Beier 0-2, Printy 0-2, Casebolt 1-2, Marissa Miller 0-1, Obleton 0-1). Team fouls: City 17, Linn-Mar 14. Fouled out: none. Rebounds: City 37 (Nkumu 8), Linn-Mar 24 (Krejca, Chmelicek 5). Assists: City 14 (Rocca 6), Linn-Mar 4 (four with 1). Steals: City 13 (Nkumu 6), Linn-Mar 7 (Casebolt 3). Turnovers: City 10, Linn-Mar 20.

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

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