Prep Basketball

Girls' basketball notes: Friday is opening night for City High and West

Rivals kick off their season Friday at West

Iowa City West's Audrey Koch (23) puts up a shot in 2019. Koch and the Trojans host Iowa City High on Friday in the seas
Iowa City West’s Audrey Koch (23) puts up a shot in 2019. Koch and the Trojans host Iowa City High on Friday in the season opener for both teams. (The Gazette)

It’s funny sometimes how things work out.

Who would have thought that the first date of competition for Iowa City Community School District girls’ basketball teams would be Dec. 18? And who would have thought that one of the openers would be ... City at West?

But that’s what we’ve got. Class 5A eighth-ranked City High meets No. 4 West in a girls/boys doubleheader Friday night at West. Tipoff for the girls’ game is 6 p.m., with the boys to follow.

“I’m glad we’re playing,” West Coach B.J. Mayer said. “It’s nice to try to get a sense of normalcy.

“The kids have done everything we’ve asked in terms of being safe, wearing masks, sanitizing.”

Due to the ICCSD’s 100-percent online learning, which has since ended, West’s first six games were either postponed or canceled altogether. City High had four games called off.

Both teams have been practicing since Saturday.

City High is coming off a 23-2 season that ended in the 5A state semifinals. The Little Hawks lost three Division-I players (Aubrey Joens, Rose Nkumu and Paige Rocca) to graduation, but still return a solid core in senior Ella Cook (5.8 points per game), junior Eviyon Richardson (6.6) and sophomore Kelsey Joens (10.5).

The Little Hawks earned 75-56 and 57-32 victories over West (14-10) last season.

West returns 82 percent of its scoring from 2019-20, led by seniors Audrey Koch (18.5 ppg) and Matayia Tellis (10.6).

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“I like our kids,” Mayer said. “We’ve got a bunch of athletes. We’re going to be pretty deep.”

Friday’s outcome will not count in the Mississippi Valley Conference standings; the rematch Jan. 22 at City High will.

Tri-Rivers showdown postponed

Friday’s Tri-Rivers West Division showdown at Delhi between Class 2A top-ranked Maquoketa Valley (5-0, 2-0) and No. 3 North Linn (6-0, 1-0) has been postponed due to COVID-19 quarantine within the North Linn program.

A makeup date has not been set.

Changes at the top of IGHSAU rankings

Maquoketa Valley is one of four new No. 1 teams in this week’s IGHSAU rankings, released Thursday. The Wildcats climbed to the top in 2A after West Branch (4-1) was upset by Cascade on Friday.

The other three new front-runners are Southeast Polk (1-0) in Class 5A, Cherokee (7-0) in 3A and Algona Garrigan (7-0) in 1A.

Garrigan moved to the top spot by virtue of Friday’s 66-45 victory over previous No. 1 Newell-Fonda.

Reagan Mudderman’s record

Lansing Kee junior Reagan Mudderman poured in a school-record 43 points Saturday in the Hawks’ 55-37 victory at New Hampton.

A 5-foot-3 guard, Mudderman connected on 15 of 23 field-goal attempts (4 of 10 from 3-point range) and made all nine of her free throws.

She also had eight steals.

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

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