10 thoughts on the week that was in Iowa high school girls' basketball
Another week, another batch of early season fireworks.
We saw a top-5 team lose, twice. We saw staggering stat lines, signs of the future and more in another week of Iowa high school girls' basketball.
We'll tackle all that and more in these thoughts on the week that was. We'll drop these every Monday until playoff time. Look back at the previous edition here.
Away we go.
1. Let's break down Cedar Falls.
Back-to-back losses don't come often in Cedar Falls. In fact, the Tigers' two-game losing streak was the program's longest since losing four straight late in the 2013-14 campaign. That's certainly noteworthy.
Still, no Emerson Green makes a huge difference — the Tigers didn't have her healthy in either loss. The UNI signee returned for five points in Saturday's win over Davenport North, so perhaps this isn't a lingering health concern. Cedar Falls will be fine in the long run, but its stumbles opened a spot at the top of the Super 10 rankings.
2. So who pounced on the opportunity?
First, start with Southeast Polk. Led by South Dakota commit Grace Larkins — 24 points per game while shooting 52 percent — the Rams look like Class 5A's second-best team early on. Southeast Polk likely won't get tested again until a few games after winter break.
3. Johnston also capitalized.
The Dragons' first tough true road test came Tuesday at Waukee. Johnston passed with ease. Maya McDermott looked like the floor general she is, putting up 31 points on 11-for-15 shooting with six treys. Another nice test comes Friday against Caitlin Clark and Dowling.
4. No. 1 finally got going — and took care of business.
City High's schedule got rolling last week, and the Little Hawks cruised to no surprise. After a Tuesday tune-up at Dubuque Hempstead, Bill McTaggart's squad didn't let up in Friday's rivalry showdown. The Battle for the Boot is usually close, but City grabbed control early with a 29-14 first-quarter edge. There were too many Little Hawk weapons for Iowa City West to keep up.
The Little Hawks should have things on cruise control for most of the next month. Of course, nothing will matter if City doesn't slice down the nets in Des Moines.
5. Speaking of City, keep an eye on the freshman.
The Joens name has become Iowa high school basketball royalty of late, with Courtney, Ashley and Aubrey all turning Little Hawk success into Power Five dreams.
Well, there's another. And she's already catching fire.
Kelsey Joens is averaging 12.7 points per game, good for fifth among 5A freshmen. She had 15 points, five rebounds and three assists in City High's 75-56 win over the Trojans. On a team full of Division I talent, the youngest Joens will have chances to thrive in year one. She looks to be on her way to greatness as well.
6. We have a new season scoring benchmark.
Caitlin Clark's 41 points Dec. 9 against Southeast Polk was the state's highest single-game scoring performance this season. Less than a week later, that honor now belongs to Mount Ayr's Sam Stewart.
The senior went for a school-record 45 in Friday's 78-35 win over Southeast Warren. Stewart's numbers were absurd: 21-for-24 from the field with nine steals. She outscored Southeast Warren's entire team on an unforgettable evening.
7. That wasn't the only 40-burger this week.
East Marshall's Olivia Terrones was unstoppable in Saturday's 69-63 win at BGM. Terrones went 14-for-22 from the field, 3-for-6 from deep and 9-for-16 at the line en route to a 40-point outing. She also had six rebounds, four assists and two steals.
8. Records go down.
Numerous school records fell this week. Here are a few.
- Crestwood’s Sharon Goodman became the school’s career five-player scoring leader.
- Van Buren County’s Taryn Scheuermann became the state's career leader in blocks (516 and counting).
- Johnston's Maya McDermott became the school's career leader in steals (159 and counting).
9. 2A's unblemished squads.
It's obviously still early, but Class 2A leads with 10 teams still unbeaten entering Monday's action. Some are to be expected (Cascade and West Hancock). Others like Louisa-Muscatine, Iowa City Regina and Nodaway Valley not so much.
10. Games to watch this week.
- Lewis Central at Glenwood (Tuesday)
- Dowling Catholic at Johnston (Friday)
- Beckman Catholic at Cascade (Saturday)
Dargan Southard covers Iowa and UNI athletics, recruiting and preps for the Des Moines Register, HawkCentral.com and the Iowa City Press-Citizen. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter at @Dargan_Southard.