State Tournament Notebook: Joens Closes Stellar Career With Strong State Tournament


Jeff Yoder Photo /

Ryan Murken

Your Prep Sports

DES MOINES – A storied career for Ashley Joens ended on Friday one win shy of a coveted state title.

What a career it was for the City High star.

With a Class 5A state tournament record 86 points in three games at state Joens closed her career with 2,178 points, 13th most all-time in the 5-player era and the second most ever by a large school player in Iowa.

Joens had 26 points and seven rebounds in the final game of her prep career as top-ranked City High (25-1) fell to ninth-ranked West High in the 5A state title game on Friday.

“She has certainly meant a lot to City High and our program, there’s no doubt about that,” City High coach Bill McTaggart said. “I wish we could have won her a state championship.”

Joens capped her career with an astonishing senior season in which she directed City High to its first title game since 2008.

The 6-foot guard averaged a state best 30.7 points per game and her 798 points as a senior are the seventh most all-time in a single season.

Joens surpassed the previous 5A state tournament scoring record of 53 with 24 points in the semifinals and her 86 points at the state tournament tied for fourth most all-time in a 5-on-5 tournament.

The Iowa State recruit averaged 28.7 points, 8.7 rebounds, 3.3 steals and 2.7 assists per game in three tournament games on her way to being named captain of the 5A all-tournament team.

“We put our emphasis on Ashley and we wanted to make her work for everything and she still got 26 points,” West High coach BJ Mayer said. “That just shows the type of player that she is. She is outstanding.”

City High upped its win total and dropped its number of losses in all four seasons with Joens in the lineup going from 15-8 her freshman season to 25-1 this year.

Joens raised her scoring and rebounding totals all four years averaging 30.7 points and 11.4 rebounds per game as a senior.

“My teammates,” Joens said when asked what she will remember about her time at City High. “It’s just been an amazing time. We’ve had great teams and to be able to play with all my teammates, it’s been amazing.”

West High Ends CIML Title Run

With it 5A state title West High became the first team from outside the Central Iowa Metro League to win a 5A state title.

West High was the last non-CIML to win a large school title when it won the 4A crown in 2012.

Since the state went to five classes in 2013 the CIML had won all five 5A titles, four of which were all-CIML finals.

The title game matchup between City High and West High was the first meeting between two Mississippi Valley Conference teams in a championship game since City High defeated Cedar Rapids Washington in 2008.

RVC Gets First Title

The River Valley Conference has been considered one of the top 2A conferences in the state for girls basketball since it was formed four years ago.

On Saturday the RVC finally got its first title.

Sixth-ranked Cascade held off No. 8 Grundy Center 41-37 in the Class 2A title game.

Over the past four seasons four different RVC teams had reached the state tournament and the RVC had at least two state qualifiers for the fourth straight season this year.

Making its fourth state tournament bid in the last five seasons Cascade finally got the RVC its title on Saturday.