Girls' state basketball: Valley outlasts Iowa City High in overtime

Maryland recruit Zoe Young scores 30 for the Tigers

DES MOINES — Zoe Young was comfortable and willing to get her teammates involved early.

When winning time arrived, though ...

“I knew there was going to be a point in time that we needed baskets,” the University of Maryland signee said after carrying eighth-ranked West Des Moines Valley in overtime. The Tigers outlasted No. 6 Iowa City High, 66-59, in a Class 5A quarterfinal at the girls’ state basketball tournament Monday afternoon at Wells Fargo Arena.

Young finished with 30 points and 10 rebounds, scoring the Tigers’ first seven points of overtime, and Valley (18-5) advanced to Thursday’s semifinal round. There, an encounter with No. 1 Johnston awaits.

Johnston (22-2) rallied from an 18-point halftime deficit to escape No. 14 Urbandale, 66-57, Monday.

All four of the semifinalists hail from the Central Iowa Metro League. City High (19-3) was the lone non-CIML member in the eight-team 5A field.

A strong, 5-foot-10 point guard, Young scored none of the Tigers’ first 19 points. She tallied 30 of their final 47.

“She’s big, she creates for her teammates and she creates for herself,” said City’s Rose Nkumu, who was outstanding Monday in her own right. “At the end, she wore us down.”

“They came up with big shots when they needed to,” City Coach Bill McTaggart said.

City High seemed to have gained the upper hand early in the fourth quarter, opening it with seven straight points for a 47-44 lead. But Young drained a 3-pointer with 5:20 left to tie it, then swished another at the 4:50 mark to put Valley in front, 50-47.

It was 55-49 when the Little Hawks surged to force overtime.


Aubrey Joens started it with a 3-pointer, then Paige Rocca made two free throws to get the Little Hawks within 55-54.

Young’s drive made it 57-54 with 0:52 left, then Nkumu’s 3-pointer got the Little Hawks even.

“We were down three and (Valley’s) Shea (Fuller) got lost a little bit, so I took it,” Nkumu said. “I feel good about my shooting.”

Nkumu, a junior, finished with 25 points, four assists and six steals.

“She didn’t want to lose,” McTaggart said.

Young missed a short jumper on Valley’s last possession of regulation, then Joens drew iron on her half-court heave at the horn.

Valley scored the first five points of overtime — Young on 1 of 2 free throws, Young on a drive, Young on 2 of 2 free throws.

Alex Honnold added 15 points and nine rebounds for the Tigers.

Joens complemented Nkumu with 19 points despite a Valley defense designed to face-guard both Joens and Rocca.

“We knew they might do that,” McTaggart said. “It shouldn’t have come as a surprise.”

Nkumu scored 13 points in the first quarter, and City built a 20-14 lead. It was 22-16 before Valley scored 10 straight, and the Tigers led, 34-29, at intermission.


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City High will return all five starters for 2019-20 and will enter the season as one of the top teams in 5A.

“We’ll be back,” Joens said. “We’ll be more experienced, and we knew what we have to do. We need to get back in the gym.”


5A State Quarterfinal, at Des Moines

WEST DES MOINES VALLEY (66): Zoe Young 11-18 4-5 30, Grace Plummer 3-7 1-2 9, Hayley Chappell 2-2 2-2 8, Shea Fuller 1-6 0-1 2, Alex Honnold 5-8 5-6 15, Jasmine Spann 0-1 2-2 2. Totals 22-42 14-18 66.

IOWA CITY HIGH (59): Rose Nkumu 8-18 4-4 25, Eviyon Richardson 0-5 0-0 0, Ella Cook 2-8 0-0 4, Paige Rocca 1-5 2-2 5, Aubrey Joens 9-18 0-1 19, CeCe Kelly-Harvey 0-0 0-0 0, Andie Westlake 2-4 0-0 6. Totals 22-58 6-7 59.

Halftime: Valley 34, City 29. End of regulation: 57-57. 3-point goals: Valley 8-17 (Young 4-6, Plummer 2-5, Chappell 2-2, Fuller 0-4), City 9-32 (Nkumu 5-11, Richardson 0-2, Cook 0-5, Rocca 1-5, Joens 1-6, Westlake 2-3). Team fouls: Valley 9, City 16. Fouled out: none. Rebounds: Valley 33 (Young 10), City 24 (Cook 7). Assists: Valley 12 (Young 5), City 10 (Nkumu 4). Steals: Valley 6 (Fuller 2), City 15 (Nkumu 6). Turnovers: Valley 19, City 11.

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