Girls Basketball Notebook: West Branch Senior Koenig Doing More Than Just Scoring

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Ryan Murken

Your Prep Sports

 

Earlier this month Tatum Koenig became the all-time leading scorer at West Branch.

The senior guard has nearly 1,300 career points, has scored at 17 least points in every game this season including a pair of 30-point performances and ranks third in the state averaging 25.8 points per game.

So what has impressed West Branch coach Jarod Tylee most about the impressive start from Koenig?

That’s easy. Her defense.

“Something I feel like she has gotten better at is her ability to change a game on defense,” Tylee said. “Sometimes we have to kind of pull her back and tell her not to be so aggressive but that is a good problem to have.”

The 5-foot-7 senior ranks second on the team with 4.6 rebounds per game and has become a pain for opposing ball handlers, averaging 4.4 steals per game.

What the stats don’t show is how Koenig has become a lockdown defender and leader of a West Branch backcourt that features a pair of freshman in prominent roles.

“I’ve worked on playing defense a lot,” Koenig said. “That’s something we take a lot of pride in here.”

As good as Koenig has been scoring this season the Bradley recruit has been equally efficient finding open teammates when she faces double teams.  

Koenig ranks second in the state average 7.2 assists per game.

“When they are face guarding or playing a box-and-one I just looked to try to back cut or handoffs,” Koenig said. “Anything to get an open look or find an open look for someone else.”  

With 34 points in a loss to Monticello on December 1 Koenig topped Kate Tuttle atop the all-time scoring list at West Branch.

Koenig has 16 regular season games and the postseason to add to her scoring total and is on pace to surpass the 461 points she scored last season.

“It’s such an honor and it’s amazing to do it with a team I love,” Koenig said of becoming the all-time leading scorer. “Everyone has been doing their role and I couldn’t have done it without my coaches and my teammates.”

Tylee Gets Win 100

West Branch coach Jarod Tylee collected career victory number 100 with a 49-35 win over Solon last Thursday.

Tylee is 100-45 in seven seasons lead the West Branch program.

Clippers Enter Win Column

With Clear Creek Amana’s 59-38 win over Benton Community all seven teams in the Your Prep Sports area are in the win column.

The Clippers opened the season with three straight losses before defeating Benton last Tuesday.

“The girls were engaged and committed and you could tell right away they wanted to play,” Clear Creek Amana coach PJ Sweeney said. “Sometimes when you are struggling a little bit, you are 0-3 you are going out there and just going through the motions and I didn’t see that tonight. They came out right from the get go and were competing and playing hard.”

State’s Top Scorer

Ashley Joens has long been considered one of the top players in the state.

Through four games this season no one has been better on the offensive end than the City High senior.

Joens is averaging a state-best 27.8 points per game through four games.

Mason City junior guard Megan Meyer ranks second at 26.4 points per game.

Performances of the Week

West Branch senior Tatum Koenig had 30 points, eight rebounds and eight assists in a 64-57 win over Tipton.

Regina junior Alex Wiese had 18 points, nine rebounds and seven steals in a 65-41 win over Wilton.

West High junior Lauren Zacharias had 14 points, six assists, five rebounds and five steals in a 69-45 win over Cedar Rapids Kennedy.

City High senior Ashley Joens had 21 points, 13 rebounds and five blocks in a 78-48 win over Cedar Rapids Prairie.

Clear Creek Amana sophomore Karsyn Stratton had 25 points and 11 rebounds in a 59-38 win over Benton Community.