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Your Prep Sports
IOWA CITY – City High wrapped up its sixth consecutive Mississippi Valley Conference divisional title and completed its first unbeaten season since 2014 on Friday.
Still, the story of the Little Hawks 84-46 win over Dubuque Wahlert was the individual performance by Ashley Joens, even if she preferred it wasn’t.
Joens became the 19th player in state history to eclipse the career 2,000-point mark, pouring in a game-high 31 points to lift Class 5A top-ranked City High to its 21st consecutive win without a loss this season.
Following her historic night Joens was thinking about the five wins it would take to win a state title rather than her career point total.
“It’s a great achievement and I wouldn’t have been able to do it without all of my teammates getting me the ball when I’m open but I still just want to win,” Joens said. “I still want to win a state championship.”
City High will begin its quest for a state title in a 5A Regional semifinal a week from Saturday.
Friday was a chance for Joens to cement her status as one of the top scorers in state history.
The 31 points by Joens on Friday was her 10th 30-point performance of the season and put her career total at 2,022.
Joens joins Anne O’Neill of Cedar Rapids Kennedy and Davenport North’s Amber Harrington as the only big school players on the 19-member 2,000-point list.
“We haven’t had anybody any better than her,” City High coach Bill McTaggart said. “She really is just a fantastic player and hopefully we can milk it out five more games with her.”
Joens entered Friday’s regular season finale averaging 30.6 points per game and needing nine points to reach 2,000.
It took her more than 10 minutes to reach the mark.
A 64 percent shooter this season Joens missed four of her first five field goal attempts on Friday and had eight points in the opening quarter, six coming from the free throw line.
“That might be my fault because I told her let’s get it over with and get it out of the way,” McTaggart said.
Joens eclipsed the mark when she scored following an offensive rebound of an Aubrey Joens 3-point attempt.
“She doesn’t like to talk about the awards or stats or anything but it’s really exciting to see her do these things,” Aubrey Joens said. “She’s a great player. I’m proud of her.”
City High took a timeout immediately after Joens reached 2,000 points and had a brief ceremony at mid-court as fans held up signs print with ‘2,000’.
When action resumed Joens was virtually unstoppable scoring 11 points over the next four minutes.
“It was a little weight off my shoulders because everyone in the gym knew and there was a lot of pressure,” Ashley Joens said. “Once you get it done with you can just play.”
Joens scored 10 points in the third quarter before checking out for good with more than a minute to play in the third quarter.
City High led 49-30 at the half and blew the game open in the third quarter, outscoring Dubuque Wahlert 24-5.
“We are playing pretty well there are some defensive things that we need to improve on,” Joens said. “I think we can get better than what we are right now.”
Joens finished 9-of-15 from the field and 13-of-14 from the free throw line.
The 6-foot Iowa State recruit added 12 rebounds for her 16th double-double this season and 13th in the last 15 games.
City High finished with a 45-21 rebounding edge that included 17 offensive rebounds.
Rose Nkumu and Aubrey Joens each had 14 points for City High while Paige Rocca had nine.
Krystal Tranel had 15 of her team-high 18 points in the first half as Dubuque Wahlert shot 44 percent in the first half.
The Golden Eagles shot just 21 percent in the final two quarters.
“We have to do a little better job of stopping penetration,” McTaggart said. “Both Cedar Rapids Washington and Wahlert were able to get to the rim so we’ll have to work on that in practice.”
City High 24 25 24 11 – 84
Dubuque Wahlert 16 14 5 11 – 46
City High (84) – Rose Nkumu 7-11 0-0 14, Ayana Lindsey 1-1 1-1 3, Ashley Joens 9-15 13-14 31, Ashley Kuennen 2-3 0-0 6, Virginia Muturi 0-0 1-2 1, Shevonna Norris 0-2 0-0 0, Ella Cook 1-3 0-0 2, Paige Rocca 3-7 2-2 9, Aubrey Joens 4-13 4-4 14, Skye Spencer 1-1 0-0 2, Sam Greving 1-5 0-0 2, Team 29-61 21-23 84.
Dubuque Wahlert (46) – Maria Klein 1-6 0-2 3, Kaylee Osterberger 1-2 0-0 2, Emma Wachter 0-3 0-0 0, Anna Herrig 1-5 2-2 5, Krystal Tranel 6-12 4-5 18, Maya Wachter 1-1 0-0 2, Morgan Herrig 1-5 2-5 4, Alli Kutsch 4-11 1-2 9, King 1-1 1-2 3, Team 16-46 10-18 46.
3-point field goals – ICH 5-19 (Nkumu 0-2, Kuennen 2-3, Cook 0-1, Rocca 1-4, Aub. Joens 2-9); DW (Klein 1-3, Osterberger 0-1, Herrig 1-3, Tranel 2-4, Herrig 0-1, Kutsch 0-3). Rebounds – ICH 45 (Ash. Joens 12); DW 21 (Tranel 5). Turnovers – ICH 11; DW 15. Total fouls – ICH 12; DW 15. Fouled out – None. Technical fouls – None.