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WATERLOO — The top-ranked team in Class 5A, Iowa City High looked the part in a resounding, 76-36 win over Waterloo West in Mississippi Valley Conference girls’ basketball Friday.

A swarming Little Hawk defense had West on its toes from the jump, forcing turnovers on four of the Wahawks’ first five possessions to jump out to a 15-3 lead.

West finished the game with 24 turnovers, something coach Anthony Pappas knew would be a recipe for disaster coming in.

“We talked about it, we prepared, we said if we turn the ball over (too many) times, then they’re going to annihilate us, and that’s what they did tonight,” Pappas said.

West attempted to rally late in the opening period, as two baskets by Na’Tracia Ceaser in less than 15 seconds sparked a 7-2 run. But the rally didn’t pick up any further momentum going into the second period, where City High outscored West 20-5.

Averaging just under 30 points per game coming in, Ashley Joens put up big numbers again Friday, falling just one rebound shy of a first-half double-double. Joens finished the night with 25 points and 13 rebounds.

Sadly for the Wahawks, Joens was hardly the only prolific scorer the Little Hawks trotted out Friday, as five different players finished in double figures.

“They’re the best team in the state,” Pappas said. “They showed why they’re No. 1 tonight. They poured it on us.”

Ceaser led the Wahawks with 17 points while Jada Draine was also in double figures with 10.

It was Ceaser’s first time seeing game action in nearly a month, as an injury caused her to miss the previous three games.

“I think I played okay,” said Ceaser, who equaled the 17-point-per-game scoring average she had coming in. “I need a little more conditioning. I was a little tired, but I think I played well for my first game back.”

West, which had won two straight coming in, fell to 5-6 overall, 1-4 in the Mississippi Valley Conference. Iowa City High is 10-0 and 6-0.

I.C. High 76, West 36

IOWA CITY HIGH (10-0, 6-0) — Rose Marie Nkumu 5 1-2 11, Ashley Joens 8 7-8 25, Paige Rocca 4 1-2 12, Aubrey Joens 5 1-2 14, Samantha Greving 2 0-0 4, Ella Cook 4 0-0 10, Ayana Lindsey 0 0-0 0, Ashley Kuennen 0 0-0 0, CeCe Kelly-Harvey 0 0-0 0, Shevonna Norris 0 0-0 0, Skye Spencer 0 0-0 0. Totals 28 10-14 76.

WATERLOO WEST (5-6, 1-4) — Aleah Cook 3 1-2 7, Lauren Conrey 1 0-0 2, Na’Tracia Ceaser 6 2-3 17, Jada Draine 4 0-0 10, Zia Collett 0 0-2 0, Shiila Robinson 0 0-0 0, Kaitlyn Meyer 0 0-0 0, Meredith Eighmey 0 0-0 0, Gabrielle Moore 0 0-0 0, Ce Ce Young 0 0-0 0. Totals 14 3-7 36.

I.C. High 19 20 24 13 — 76

Wat. West 10 5 15 6 — 36

3-point goals—I.C. High 10 (Rocca 3, Au. Jones 3, Cook 2, Ash. Jones 2), West 5 (Ceaser 3, Draine 2). Total fouls—I.C. High 9, West 11. Fouled out—none.

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