Prep Basketball

Sydney Mitvalsky's return gives Cedar Rapids Washington energy and attitude

Mitvalsky and Hannah Stuelke combine for 49 points in the Warriors' 77-64 win over Kennedy

CEDAR RAPIDS — The Washington Warriors have their motor back.

“I wanted to come back with a vengeance,” Sydney Mitvalsky said after Friday’s triumphant return, a 21-point display to complement star junior Hannah Stuelke in Cedar Rapids Washington’s 77-64 season-opening girls’ basketball verdict over Cedar Rapids Kennedy on Friday at Washington High School.

“Some things you can’t control, but you always can control attitude.”

A senior who has committed to St. Thomas (Minn.), Mitvalsky gives the Warriors (1-0) attitude and energy. That’s where her absence was felt most of last year, when she was sidelined much of the season with a foot injury.

“She has a lot of passion, and she plays like it,” Washington Coach Chris James said.

Both teams were making their debut after the conclusion (for now, at least) of virtual learning. Both had practiced just five times.

Washington looked well-seasoned from the start and controlled the game throughout.

Led by Stuelke — a junior and a University of Iowa recruit — and Mitvalsky, the Warriors built a 20-point lead by the midpoint of the second quarter and led 45-26 at the break. The largest margin was 68-42, early in the fourth quarter.

“It was a quick turnaround after just five days,” Mitvalsky said. “We were all pretty nervous. We didn’t know how it was going to play out. As a senior, I really had the mindset that you never know when the last game is going to be.”

Stuelke finished with 28 points and 15 rebounds, Mitvalsky had her 21 points, and three others tallied six or more.

“We’re playing a little more spread out,” James said. “That gives Hannah more room to operate down low. We’re not necessarily focused on getting her down there more, but we’re really trying to make her active when she is down there.”

Sophia Barrett led Kennedy (0-1) with 15 points and six rebounds. Addy Alber added 10 points.

CEDAR RAPIDS WASHINGTON 77, CEDAR RAPIDS KENNEDY 64

At C.R. Washington

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C.R. KENNEDY (64): Sophia Barrett 5-13 3-4 15, Olivia Pecinovsky 0-2 2-2 2, Ella Cadenhead 1-3 1-2 3, Tori Knight 4-8 0-0 9, Kaliya Sain 2-10 2-3 6, Addy Alber 4-5 2-2 10, Grace Techau 2-7 4-5 9, Janelle Minor 2-5 0-0 5, Kyle Holm 1-4 0-0 2, Alli Palma 1-2 1-2 3, Sidney Osborn 0-0 0-1 0. Totals 22-59 15-21 64.

C.R. WASHINGTON (77): Sydney Engledow 2-6 2-2 7, Sydney Mitvalsky 8-17 2-2 21, Jaliea Havel 2-4 2-6 6, Lucci O’Donnell 2-3 0-0 5, Hannah Stuelke 9-13 10-16 28, Aeri Thomas 0-2 0-1 0, Keara Powers 3-11 0-0 7, Deja Redmond 0-2 0-0 0, Jocelyn Doyle 1-4 0-0 3. Totals 27-62 16-27 77.

Halftime: Washington 45, Kennedy 26. 3-point goals: Kennedy 5-15 (Barrett 2-2, Cadenhead 0-2, Knight 1-2, Sain 0-4, Alber 0-1, Techau 1-2, Minor 1-1, Holm 0-1), Washington 7-19 (Engledow 1-5, Mitvalsky 3-6, Havel 0-1, O’Donnell 0-1, Thomas 0-1, Powers 1-2, Doyle 1-3). Team fouls: Kennedy 22, Washington 16. Fouled out: Cadenhead. Rebounds: Kennedy 42 (Barrett 6), Washington 38 (Stuelke 15). Assists: Kennedy 10 (Pecinovsky 3), Washington 16 (Havel 5). Steals: Kennedy 9 (three with 2), Washington 13 (Mitvalsky 4). Turnovers: Kennedy 25, Washington 15.

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

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