Basketball ready to face City

West will host City for the second round of basketball doubleheaders today Jan. 23. The first time the teams played each other this season, City won the girls match while West’s boys came out on top.

The Women of Troy saw their hopes of winning a tightly contested game against their cross-town rivals wither away during the last quarter on Tuesday, Dec. 12. West led by two points to enter the fourth quarter of the game, but City came to dominate the final eight minutes, winning by thirteen points.

Kara Wagenknecht
Emma Koch ’19 calls for the ball as City’s Ella Cook ’21 guards her on Tuesday, Dec. 12.

Now on their home court, West looks to correct some of its mistakes from a month ago.

“We talked about how we can’t have lapses in focus, especially against good offensive teams like City, because if you slack off for just a minute then they’ll jump on you,” Emma Koch ’19 said. “I think we’ll do a better job of that this time.”

The girls are in the midst of a seven-game haul against the best in and out of the state. The girls recently won against No. 10 Prairie, but No. 1 City will present another challenge.

“We’re just really aware that playing these hard teams now seems really hard because we’re playing about two to three games a week but they’re going to definitely help us in the long run and prepare us for state,” Logan Cook ’18 said.

We’re just really aware that playing these hard teams now seems really hard … but they’re definitely going to help us in the long run.”

— Logan Cook '18

City’s Ashley Joens ’18 is among the leaders in the state in terms of points per game, and her teammates are also successful in the area in field-goal percentage and 3-point percentage. To combat their power, West has prepared.

“The City game is always very physically and emotionally draining, but I think the fact that they’re No. 1 and it’s in the middle of a bunch of games where we play ranked opponents makes it harder,” Koch said. “I also think it’ll make it a lot more fun and competitive.”

On the boy’s side, West (10-1) has been dominant. Only losing to Cedar Falls by one point, the boys remain No. 1 and among the favorites to win the state tournament.

Kara Wagenknecht
Patrick McCaffery ’19 holds the ball away from a City defender as he looks to pass the ball on Tuesday, Dec. 12.

“Last year when we lost to [Cedar Rapids] Prairie for the first time, it shocked our whole team and it changed the whole atmosphere. Practices got harder and more intense. This year when we lost, it wasn’t like that. I think we just shrugged it off. That’s something we really shouldn’t do, but it seems like now we are starting to pull it together,” Seybian Sims ’18 said.

Already having dominated City 75-48 during their first meeting, the boys are the strong favorite against the Little Hawks (3-8).

“[I’m] very confident, [but] also kind of sad that it’s my last City-West game,” Sims said.

Cook agrees that this game is one she’ll miss from high school basketball.

“It kind of set in that this is the last City-West game,” Cook said. “This game’s always so exciting and to get to experience this again is going to be fun.”