Prep Basketball

No. 1 Iowa City High rallies to force OT, then escapes Cedar Falls

Aubrey Joens tallies 39; Little Hawks are golden from the FT line

Iowa City High Little Hawks
Iowa City High Little Hawks

CEDAR FALLS — Down seven on the road, Iowa City High was teetering. But the Little Hawks had the mindset of a veteran club.

“I called timeout and I looked them in the eyes,” Coach Bill McTaggart said. “I didn’t sense any fear, and that felt good because I was nervous.”

The Class 5A top-ranked Little Hawks eliminated Cedar Falls star Emerson Green to fouls moments later, then did the same to three of her teammates in overtime and escaped the No. 7 Tigers, 82-73, in a Mississippi Valley Conference girls’ basketball game Tuesday night at Cedar Falls High School.

“We’re not in that kind of position a lot,” said City’s Rose Nkumu, one of three Division-I-bound seniors for the Little Hawks (10-0 overall, 7-0 MVC). “We know that when we play together and dig deep, it really gets the ball rolling.”

City High tied the game on Aubrey Joens’ two free throws with 13 seconds left in regulation. Then the Little Hawks led overtime from start to finish.

Joens, who led all scorers with 39 points, started the extra session with a drive for the basket. Nkumu did likewise on City’s next possession, then it was Ella Cook’s turn.

The Little Hawks then closed it out from the free-throw line. They made 14 of 15 foul shots in the fourth quarter and overtime.

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“We just didn’t want to lose our composure,” Joens said. “we wanted to come back and keep fighting. A game like this is really going to help us down the road.”

Cedar Falls (8-4, 4-3) held a 58-51 lead when Green hit a 3-pointer with 5:50 left in regulation. But shortly after City called timeout, Green fouled out on a charging call and the Little Hawks rallied.

They scored seven straight to get even at 58-58, then knotted the game at 60-60, 62-62 and 64-64.

Lexie Godfrey, Anaya Barney and Jasmine Barney joined Green on the Cedar Falls bench in overtime.

Nkumu added 18 points and five assists for the Little Hawks, and Paige Rocca scored 12.

Joens was 14 of 16 from the free-throw line, Nkumu 10 of 10, leading the Little Hawks to a 27-for-31 effort from the stripe.

“That’s what a senior team should do,” McTaggart said. “We haven’t been hitting them well this year, but we hit them when we had to tonight.”

All five of Cedar Falls’ starters reached double figures, led by Ayana Barney’s 15 points.

IOWA CITY HIGH 82, CEDAR FALLS 73 (OT)

At Cedar Falls

IOWA CITY HIGH (82): Rose Nkumu 4-10 10-10 18, Kelsey Joens 2-9 0-0 5, Ella Cook 3-4 2-3 8, Paige Rocca 5-11 1-2 12, Aubrey Joens 11-22 14-16 39, Eviyon Richardson 0-4 0-0 0, Andie Westlake 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 25-60 27-31 82.

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CEDAR FALLS (73): Anaya Barney 7-15 0-1 15, Emerson Green 2-8 7-7 12, Sydney Remmert 3-6 5-6 11, Jasmine Barney 6-14 1-3 14, Lexie Godfrey 4-4 0-0 10, Anna Sandvold 3-9 0-0 7, Morgan Linck 1-1 1-2 4, Ellie Gerdes 0-0 0-0 0, Maggie Schuring 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 26-57 14-19 73.

Halftime: Cedar Falls 29, City High 27. End of regulation: 64-64. 3-point goals: City High 5-15 (Nkumu 0-1, K. Joens 1-4, Rocca 1-3, A. Joens 3-7), Cedar Falls 7-23 (A. Barney 1-5, Green 1-4, Remmert 0-2, J. Barney 1-3, Godfrey 2-2, Sandvold 1-7, Linck 1-1). Team fouls: City High 18, Cedar Falls 25. Fouled out: A. Barney, Green, J. Barney, Godfrey. Technical fouls: A. Barney. Rebounds: City High 40 (Cook 12), Cedar Falls 32 (A. Barney 7). Assists: City High 9 (Nkumu 5), Cedar Falls 11 (A. Barney 7). Steals: City High 7 (K. Joens, Cook 2), Cedar Falls 4 (A. Barney 3). Turnovers: City High 10, Cedar Falls 14.

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

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