Photo by Jeff Yoder
Your Prep Sports
The Your Prep Sports girls basketball team honors five of the top players in the area for their performance this season.
This year’s team features all-state and all-conference selections, Division I recruits and 1,000-point scorers.
City High junior Aubrey Joens is the captain of the 2019 edition of the Your Prep Sports squad after ranking third in Class 5A in scoring while leading the Little Hawks to a third straight state tournament appearance.
A third-team all-state pick last season Joens solidified her status as one best player in the state with a breakthrough junior season in which she ranked ninth in the state in scoring at 23 points per game.
Joens did more than just score at a career-high clip this season she did so as efficiently as any player in the state.
The 5-foot-9 Joens shot career-bests 48 percent from the field 46 percent from 3-point range and 78 percent from the free throw line this season while logging career-high attempts in field goals and free throws.
Her 46 percent shooting from 3-point range ranked ninth in the state among players with at least 80 attempts.
Joens scored in double figures in 21 of 22 games this season while eclipsing the 1,000-point mark for her career.
The Iowa State commit had 14 games with 20 or more points and scored 30 or more three times including a career-high 37 against West Des Moines Dowling.
Joens did more than just score while helping City High to a 19-3 record and third straight state tournament appearance.
She led the Little Hawks with 7.2 rebounds per game, was second on the team with 3.1 steals and third with 1.8 assists per game.
Joens was named the Mississippi Valley Conference Mississippi Division player of the year and earned first-team all-state honors for the first time from both the Iowa Print Sports Writers Association and the Iowa Girls Coaches Association.
Among the top stat sheet fillers in the state Zacharias was one of only two players in the state and the lone player in Class 4A or 5A to average at least 14 points, six rebounds and five assists per game.
Zacharias took her game to another level in her final prep season averaging a career-high 14 points per game while leading 5A with 5.9 assists per game.
The senior point guard also averaged 6.1 rebounds and led West High with 3 steals per game while posting an assist to turnover ratio of better than 2 to 1.
Zacharias had a team-high five double-doubles this season highlighted by a triple-double of 12 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists against City High.
She scored in double figures 16 of 21 games this season while helping West High to a 17-4 record and a berth in a Class 5A regional final.
A Wayne State recruit, Zacharias was named the Mississippi Valley Conference Valley Division player of the year and was a second-team all-state pick by both the Iowa Print Sports Writers Association and the Iowa Girls Coaches Association.
Nkumu teamed up with Joens to give City High the highest scoring duo in the state after averaging a career-high 19 points per game during her own breakthrough season.
One of the top point guards in the state, Nkumu added big-time scoring numbers as a junior to go with her reputation as a top-notch playmaker.
Nkumu scored in double figures 20 times and had 13 games with 20 or more points while upping her scoring average by nearly six points per game this season.
The 5-foot-8 Nkumu averaged 5.4 rebounds and led City High with 4.4 assists and 3.7 steals per game while posting a 2.5 to 1 assist to turnover ratio.
Nkumu was at her best in the postseason, scoring 22 or more points in three postseason games while averaging 23.3 points, 4 rebounds, 3.7 and 5 steals.
The junior earned second-team all-state honors for the second straight season from the Iowa Print Sports Writers Association.
Another area player to post a breakthrough season Koch went from a key reserve as a freshman to one of the most productive players in the state as a sophomore.
Koch led West High in scoring and rebounding in her first season as a starter while helping the Women of Troy to a 17-4 record and a spot in the regional title game.
A versatile threat that can score in the post or from the 3-point line, Koch averaged 16.3 points while shooting a team-best 58 percent from the field including 36-percent from the 3-point line.
Koch scored in double figures 16 times and had eight games with 20 or more points on her way to earning third-team all-state honors from both the Iowa Print Sports Writers Association and the Iowa Girls Coaches Association.
The lone repeat selection on the 2019 Your Prep Sports teams, Stratton earns the honor for the second consecutive season after helping Clear Creek Amana to an 11-8 record.
Despite dealing with injuries throughout the season Stratton led the Clippers with 19.6 points, 2.5 steals and 2 assists and added 6.6 rebounds per game.
Stratton shot 47 percent from the field and 61 percent from the free throw line this season and eclipsed the 1,000-point mark for her career.
The 5-foot-8 guard led the WAMAC in scoring and ranked in the top three in Class 4A in scoring for the second consecutive season.
Stratton received all-state status for the third consecutive season, earning second-team honors from both the Iowa Print Sports Writers Association and the Iowa Girls Coaches Association.