Prep Basketball

Saunders sisters make an immediate impact for Iowa City West girls' basketball

Rivalry Saturday: Women of Troy handle Gilbert, 52-41

Iowa City West
Iowa City West

CEDAR RAPIDS — The Saunders sisters were granted immediate eligibility, and have made immediate impact.

Just 10 days after joining the team, Cora Saunders and Jenna Saunders combined for five 3-pointers, helping Class 5A 12th-ranked Iowa City West defeat 4A No. 7 Gilbert, 52-41, in a Rivalry Saturday girls’ basketball contest Saturday afternoon at Kohawk Arena.

“They’re experienced players. They can definitely shoot it,” West Coach B.J. Mayer said. “They spread the floor for us.”

At 12.5 points per game, Cora Saunders was the leading scorer for Iowa City Liberty last year; Jenna Saunders added 4.8 points per contest.

Now, they’re coming off the bench for West.

“We had to do what was best for us,” said Cora, who was 3-of-6 from distance and scored nine points. “We caught on to the system fast, and I think we’ll give them a couple of good offensive options.”

Both of the sisters hit a 3-pointer in a pivotal 13-0 third-quarter run as the Women of Troy (1-0) stretched a six-point lead to 36-17, its largest advantage of the game.

Gilbert (1-1) got as close as 48-41 in the final minute before West wrapped it up at the free-throw line.

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West’s Audrey Koch made just 4 of 14 shots from the floor, but led all scorers with 17 points. In addition, she accumulated eight rebounds, three assists and four steals.

Freshman Meena Tate added 12 points, Cora Saunders tallied nine, Jenna Saunders eight.

Emma Bulman paced Gilbert (1-1) with 12 points.

“We were pretty good defensively,” Mayer said. “(Ava) Hawthorne is a phenomenal player, and our goal was to take her out of it. They missed some shots that they probably would ordinarily make.”

West held Hawthorne to eight points.

The Women of Troy led from the start. Their first 12 points were from 3-pointers, and it was 14-4 after one quarter.

IOWA CITY WEST 52, GILBERT 41

At Kohawk Arena

IOWA CITY WEST (52): Matayia Tellis 1-8 2-2 4, Liv Williams 0-1 0-0 0, Meena Tate 4-7 2-4 12, Grace Schneider 1-3 0-0 2, Audrey Koch 4-14 8-11 17, Cora Saunders 3-8 0-0 9, Anna Prouty 0-3 0-0 0, Jenna Saunders 2-4 2-2 8. Totals 15-48 14-19 52.

GILBERT (41): Katherine Currans 0-2 3-3 3, Ava Hawthorne 2-12 3-6 8, Nessa Johnson 3-6 1-3 7, Emma Bulman 5-16 0-0 12, Thea Rotto 3-7 1-6 7, Ellie Bulman 1-1 2-2 4, Emma Kruse 0-1 0-0 0, Sydney Lynch 0-2 0-0 0, Claire Roske 0-0 0-0 0, Johnna Rotto 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 14-47 10-20 41.

Halftime: West 23, Gilbert 15. 3-point goals: West 8-24 (Tellis 0-2, Williams 0-1, Tate 2-3, Schneider 0-1, Koch 1-5, C. Saunders 3-6, Prouty 0-2, J. Saunders 2-4), Gilbert 3-13 (Currans 0-1, Hawthorne 1-6, Johnson 0-1, E. Bullman 2-45, Lynch 0-1). Team fouls: West 19, Gilbert 21. Fouled out: none. Rebounds: West 33 (Koch 8), Gilbert 40 (E. Bulman 8). Assists: West 8 (Koch 3), Gilbert 6 (Hawthorne 4). Steals: West 8 (Koch 4), Gilbert 8 (three with 2). Turnovers: West 15, Gilbert 15.

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

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