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2017-2018 West High Girls Basketball Preview

IOWA CITY– Back in March, the Iowa City West High Women of Troy fell, 55-48, to Valley High School, of West Des Moines, in the Class 5A state tournament semifinals. It was the fifth trip to state for West High under Head Coach B.J. Mayer and ended a 21-4 season (12-1 in the Mississippi Valley Conference).
As the team gears up for what it hope will be a sixth state tourney appearance, Mayer noted, “We are not as deep as we have been.”
The team lost three seniors– Ali Tauchen, Katie McGrane and Maddie Huinker– to graduation. Huinker averaged 7.7 points per game, McGrane averaged 3.7 points per game, and Tauchen averaged 1.6.
Back in the lineup, however, are starters Logan Cook, Rachael Saunders, Emma Koch and Lauren Zacharias. Cook, a 6-1 senior (and University of Iowa commit) averaged 15 points per game last season with 6.2 rebounds. She was a First Team All-Conference pick and also an All-State honoree.
Saunders is a 5-9 senior (committed to Creighton University) who averaged 12.8 points and 3.7 rebounds with 2.2 assists and 2.1 steals. She, too, was an All-Conference First Team pick, as well as an All-State Third Team honoree.
Koch is a 5-11 junior who contributed 7.6 points per game and 6.2 rebounds. She earned an All-Conference Honorable Mention last season.
Zacharias is a 5-5 junior who produced 7.7 points per game with three rebounds, 3.3 assists and 2.3 steals. She was also an All-Conference Honorable Mention.
Also back are Cailyn Morgan and Paige Beckner. Morgan is a 5-10 junior (verbal commit to University of Northern Iowa) who averaged 5.8 points, three rebounds, two assists and 1.6 steals last season. Beckner is a 6-1 senior who averaged 3.1 points, 3.1 rebounds and made 1.3 blocks per game.
Mayer also has his eye on senior Carrie Callahan, junior Sydney Allen and freshmen Audrey Koch and Matayia Tellis.
“We would like to see two to three of the other potential players develop into players who can give us quality minutes,” Mayer said. “We need to remain healthy and get Rachel Saunders back into the mix after tearing her ACL in the state tournament.”
West High struggled at times to rebound and nail its outside shots and, he added, will need to improve in those areas.
However, the Women of Troy still pack a punch.
“We return a lot of starters and letter winners who have played for two to three years,” he said. “We will be fairly long and athletic and hope to be able to score off our defense. We should have multiple players who are capable of leading us in scoring each night.”
But, he added, “We need consistency out of them, however.”
Mayer is hopeful his squad will be in the hunt for the conference title. Cedar Falls and City High pose a threat though. Mayer said both return many quality players and should be considered favorites. He believes Cedar Rapids Prairie will be a much-improved team this season and could also challenge for the title. “Many other teams return quality players and I believe our league will be extremely good as a whole,” he said.
He looked farther out and made his picks for the best Class 5A teams in the state, listing West Des Moines Dowling Catholic, West Des Moines Valley, Indianola, Ankeny Centennial and Waukee, in addition to the MVC teams he mentioned.
The season opened with a scrimmage against Marion on Tuesday, Nov. 21, and West competes in the 14th Annual Rivalry Saturday, Nov. 25, in Coe College’s new gymnasium, in Cedar Rapids. West High takes on Davenport Assumption at 2 p.m. The first home game is Friday, Dec. 1, as Cedar Rapids Xavier visits for a 7:30 p.m. varsity tipoff.

2017-2018 Iowa City West High
Varsity Girls Basketball Schedule

Sat. Nov. 25 AT Coe College Vs. Dvnprt Asmptn 2 p.m.
Tues. Nov. 28 AT Cedar Rapids Jefferson 7:30 p.m.
Fri. Dec. 1 HOME Vs. Cedar Rapids Xavier 7:30 p.m.
Tues. Dec. 5 AT Cedar Rapids Kennedy 7:30 p.m.
Sat. Dec. 9 AT Minnetonka HS (Minnesota) 3:45 p.m.
Tues. Dec. 12 AT City High (M/W Doubleheader) 6 p.m.
Fri. Dec. 15 AT Waterloo East 7:30 p.m.
Tues. Dec. 19 AT Cedar Rapids Prairie 7:30 p.m.
Thurs. Dec. 21 HOME Vs. Dubuque Hempstead 7:30 p.m.
Fri. Jan. 5 AT Dubuque Wahlert Catholic HS 7:30 p.m.
Tues. Jan. 9 AT Linn-Mar 7:30 p.m.
Fri. Jan. 12 HOME Vs. Washington 7:30 p.m.
Mon. Jan. 15 HOME Vs. Bolingbrook 5 p.m.
Fri. Jan. 19 HOME Vs. Cedar Rapids Prairie 7:30 p.m.
Sat. Jan. 20 AT West Des Moines Valley 3:30 p.m.
Tues. Jan. 23 HOME Vs. City High (M/W 2Xheader) 6 p.m.
Fri. Jan. 26 HOME Vs. Cedar Falls 7:30 p.m.
Sat. Jan. 27 AT Brdly Univ., Peoria, IL Vs. Mont Cath 5 p.m.
Tues. Jan. 30 AT Dubuque Senior 7:30 p.m.
Tues. Feb. 6 HOME Vs. Linn-Mar 7:30 p.m.
Fri. Feb. 9 HOME Vs. Waterloo West 7:30 p.m.
Wed. Feb. 14 Class 5A Regional 7 p.m.
Sat. Feb. 17 Class 5A Regional 7 p.m.
Tues. Feb. 20 Class 5A Regional 7 p.m.
Wed. Feb. 28 Class 5A State Tournament, Des Mns
Fri. March 2 Class 5A State Tournament, Des Mns
Sat. March 3 Class 5A State Tournament, Des Mns