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Your Prep Sports
IOWA CITY – The biggest moment of Ashley Joens’ prep basketball career ended in disappointment with a loss in the Class 5A title game.
The moment that defines Joens as a basketball player came about 12 hours after her high school career ended.
On the morning after watching her quest for a perfect season end with a loss to cross-town rival West High in the 5A title game Joens was back in the gym.
“I went to the gym on Saturday,” Joens said with a laugh. “Actually, I’ve gone every day. I want to get in there every day not only me but if we can get other people to come with us it makes it more fun and we can help other people hopefully get them to the same point next year so they can keep improving.”
That relentless work ethic is one of the biggest reasons Joens will leave City High as the most decorated players in program history and among the best to play in Iowa.
Joens added yet another honor to her career resume on Tuesday when she was named Miss Iowa Basketball by the Iowa Print Sports Writers Association.
“She works as hard as anybody I have ever seen,” City High coach Bill McTaggart said. “She works on her defense, on her shot, on every single part of her game and she never stops working. We are going to really miss her.”
Joens becomes the second player in City High history to be named Miss Iowa Basketball and the first to claim the award since Michelle Nason in 1990.
“I didn’t really ever think much about the individual awards but it’s a huge honor,” Joens said. “I’m glad I can achieve something like that for City High.”
A four-time all-state selection and three-time first team pick Joens saved her best season for last.
The 6-foot Iowa State recruit led the state in scoring this season averaging 30.7 points per game to go with 11.4 rebounds per contest.
Joens' career-high 30.7 points per game came on 62 percent field goal shooting that included an astonishing 59 percent from 3-point range.
She led the state in both free throw attempts (245) and makes (197) and shot a career-best 80 percent from the line as a senior.
Joens had 19 double-doubles in 26 games this season, scored at least 21 points in every game and had 30 or more points 13 times.
“We haven’t had anybody any better,” McTaggart said. “I don’t know any high school player in the United States that could have had a better season than her.”
Joens did it all as a senior while leading City High to a 25-1 record and a 5A runner-up finish.
She was second on the team in assists (3) and steals (3.3) and led the little Hawks with 43 blocked shots.
“Her ball handling has improved, her passing has improved her footwork has improved,” McTaggart said. “She is just a phenomenal player and she works very hard at it.”
Joens closed her career with 2,178 points which ranks 13th most all-time in the five-player era and trails only Anne O’Neil of Cedar Rapids Kennedy for points by a large school player.
She holds the City High single game (45), single season (798) and career scoring marks and is the top rebounder in program history with 901 career boards.
Joens scored 20 or more points 62 times and had 42 double-doubles in 96 career games.
“She is the best player that I have coached against and I think that includes both AAU and also high school,” Regina coach Jeff Wallace said. “You just don’t see a 6-foot girl that can run like she can and then to have all the skills to go with it and then she has a really high basketball IQ. Composure and just everything you are looking for in a player. She is just an incredible talent.”
Joens set a Class 5A state tournament record with 86 points while leading the Little Hawks to the state title game for the first time since 2008.
Her 36 points in an opening round win over West Des Moines Valley tied the single-game scoring record for a 5A tournament game and her 86 state tournament points are the fourth most all-time in a five-player tournament.
“We just came up a little short but it was a great year and I’m glad that I was able to be a part of it,” Joens said. “Looking back on it there are just so many memories, I will never forget this team. Out of all the teams that I have ever played with this one will probably be the one I remember the most. The way we all got along together.”
Sophomore Rose Nkumu was a second-team all-state pick for City High while Aubrey Joens was a third-team selection.
Nkumu averaged 13.4 points and led the Little Hawks in assists (3.1) and steals (3.4).
Aubrey Joens averaged 13.4 points per game and had a team-high 54 3-pointers while shooting 36-percent from beyond the arc.
Ashley Joens, Sr., Iowa City High
First Team – Ashley Joens, Sr., City High; Grace Berg, Sr., Indianola; Caitlin Clark, Soph., West Des Moines Dowling; Logan Cook, Sr., West High; Zoe Young, Jr., West Des Moines Valley; Maggie McGraw, Jr., Indianola; Emerson Green, Soph., Cedar Falls; Ellie Spelhaug, Sr., Pleasant Valley.
Second Team – Maya McDermott, Soph., Johnston; Grace Larkins, Fr., Southeast Polk; Rachael Saunders, Sr., West High; Anna Brown, Jr., Waukee; Rose Nkumu, Soph., City High; Hailey Dolphin, Sr., Cedar Rapids Kennedy; Kamryn Finley, Sr., Cedar Falls; Chloe Olson, Sr., Ankeny Centennial.
Third Team – Kiana Barney, Sr., Cedar Falls; Cynthia Wolf, Sr., Cedar Falls; Josie Filer, Jr. West Des Moines Dowling; Aubrey Joens, Soph., City High; Sidney McCrea, Soph., Cedar Rapids Prairie; Jenna Johnson, Sr., Johnston; Kira Arthofer, Sr., Pleasant Valley; Cailyn Morgan, Jr., West High.
First Team – Megan Meyer, Jr., Mason City; Chloe Rice, Sr., Marion; Kayba Laube, Soph., Marion; Sienna Durr, Sr., Grinnell; Maegan Holt, Sr., Lewis Central; Madison Dreckman, Jr., LeMars; Allie Wooldridge, Sr., Center Point-Urbana; Amber Nicole Buch, Sr., Fairfield.
Second Team – Grace Boffeli, Soph., North Scott; Caitlynn Daniels, Soph., Cedar Rapids Xavier; Caitlynne Shadle, Sr., Boone; Kameron Moore, Sr., Grinnell; Jenna Borchers, Sr., Dallas Center-Grimes; Keeley Petzenhauser, Sr., Spencer; Katelyn Stanley, Soph., Sioux City Heelan; Abby Wisecup, Jr., Sergeant Bluff-Luton.
Third Team – Emily Holtenhaus, Jr., Pella; Katie Keitges, Soph., Knoxville; Megan Witte, Soph., Lewis Central; Adrianna Katcher, Soph., Center Point-Urbana; Karsyn Stratton, Soph., Clear Creek Amana; Mia Laube, Sr., Boone; Claire Sandvig, Sr., Boone; Michaela Davis, Sr., Keokuk.
First Team – Lexi Toering, Sr., Sioux Center; Isabelle Gradwell, Sr., West Marshall; Shannon Pisney, Sr., Crestwood, Sharon Goodman, Soph., Crestwood; Jessica Musgrave, Jr., South Tama; Lexy Koudelka, Sr., Nevada; Ivy Swarthout, Sr., Chariton; Maddie Jones, Jr., South Central Calhoun.
Second Team – Paityn Hagberg, Sr., Cherokee; Jordan Van Maanen, Sr., Sioux Center; Logan Hughes, Jr., Shenandoah; Lauren Ries, Sr., Monticello; Makenzie Northup, Jr., Central Lee; Maggie Phipps, Fr., North Polk; Taylor Houska, Jr., East Sac County; Ellie Friesen, Sr., Crestwood.
Third Team – Jenna Clark, Sr., Roland-Story; Taylor McDonald, Sr., Monticello; Hannah Anderson, Sr., Forest City; Addie Rath, Sr., Mid-Prairie; Kassidy Pingel, Jr., Cherokee; Regan Freland, Soph., PCM; Sara Faber, Soph., Clear Lake; Carlye Brown, Sr., Davenport Assumption.
First Team – Ashtyn Veerbeek, Sr., Western Christian; Alex Wiese, Jr., Iowa City Regina; Sam Wall, Jr., Maquoketa Valley; Tatum Koenig, Sr., West Branch; Taryn Scheurmann, Soph., Van Buren; Ashley Tull, Sr., North Linn; Kayla Chapman, Jr., Treynor; Nicole McDermott, Soph., Cascade.
Second Team – Kaylee Parks, Sr., Central Springs; Hailey Wallis, Jr., Grundy Center; Madelyn Deitchler, Sr., Treynor; Bailey Beckman, Jr., Panorama; Chloe Lofstrom, Soph., North Union; Maya Johnson, Jr., Mediapolis; Ellie Foster, Soph., Dike-New Hartford; Maci Gambell, Sr., Pekin.
Third Team – Mackenzie Rogers, Sr., Mediapolis; Grace Flanagan, Soph., North Linn; Mary Crompton, Sr., Iowa City Regina; Autum Barthelman, Sr., Sigourney; Dani Boettscher, Sr., Sioux Central; Sam Stewart, Soph., Mount Ayr; Kia Rasmussen, Sr., IKM-Manning; Konnor Sudmann, Jr., Treynor.
First Team – Mikayla Nachazel, Sr., Springville; Rylee Menster, Sr., Springville; Jenna Boelter, Sr., Algona Garrigan; Olivia Larsen, Jr., Newell-Fonda; Alli Masters, Jr., Central Decatur; Sophia Peppers, Sr., Exira-EHK; Emilee Danner, Sr., Ar-We-Va; Addison Hirschman, Sr., Kingsley-Pierson.
Second Team – Mandy Willems, Sr., AGWSR; Rachael Leerar, Fr., West Hancock; Aubrie Fisher, Jr., AGWSR; Kassidi Steel, Soph., North Mahaska; Lexee Hartsock, Sr., Winfield-Mount Union; Carah Drees, Jr., Westwood; Emma Atwood, Jr., Central Decatur; Peyton Olson, Sr., Mason City Newman.
Third Team – Shateah Wetering, Soph., Montezuma; Amanda Chizek, Soph., West Hancock; Carson Fisk, Jr., Lynnville-Sully; Acey Jellison, Jr., Seymour; Kealy Nelson, Sr., Exira-EHK; Blaire Steenhoek, Jr., Southeast Warren; Katie Sobotka, Sr., Diagonal; Ashley Schwartzhoff, Sr., Kee.