In a City High season that’s featured one dominant outing after another, Saturday’s performance could have easily slipped through the cracks.
On the road — really on the road — more than 90 miles away from Iowa City — the Little Hawks took a brief step out of conference with a game at Keokuk.
All City did was deliver a defensive showing not seen in nearly three years.
The Little Hawks suffocated Keokuk from the jump, limiting the Chiefs to just seven made field goals en route to a 41-18 win. Saturday marked the lowest point total City (11-0) has held an opponent to since Jan. 28, 2014, when the Little Hawks overpowered Waterloo East, 76-7.
Iowa State commit Ashley Joens single-handedly outscored Keokuk, pouring in a game-high 25 points. Senior Kenya Earl would’ve only lost by five, adding 13 points for her third straight double-digit outing.
No Chief had more than five points or hit more than two shots. Three players finished with fewer points than fouls.
The Little Hawks’ defense has been a force all season — City entered the Keokuk matchup having surrendered just 47.3 points per game, while holding five foes to fewer than 45 — but Saturday’s effort was certainly over the top.
Lions bounce back
Lone Tree’s stretch of three games in three days began with a stumble.
A snippet went like this.
“We’ve got to take better care of the basketball,” Lions boys basketball coach Tom Squires said after Thursday’s 54-51 loss to Lisbon. “We turned the ball over 21 times — we can’t do that — and we didn’t shoot it well. We’ll see how tough we are. We’ve got to bounce back (quickly).
“They’re a veteran team — mostly seniors. They should be able to handle a stretch like this, mentally.”
After dismantling Winfield-Mt. Union, 68-22, Friday to halt the Wolves’ four-game winning streak, Lone Tree capped off its back-to-back-to-back with a 49-36 road victory at Bellevue Marquette — a nice rebound for the Lions (8-2), ahead of Tuesday’s showdown against Iowa Mennonite School.
More Little Hawk dominance
After rolling to a 47-21 win Thursday over Cedar Rapids Jefferson, the City High wrestling team spilled that momentum into Saturday with a convincing team victory at the Ottumwa Invitational.
The Little Hawks racked up 264 points, rolling easily over runner-up Sigourney (175.5) and third-place Newton (164). All 14 City wrestlers finished in the top three, punctuated by individual titles from Kyle Hefley (160) and Jacob Dykes (195).
The Trojans produced a third-place showing at Saturday’s Tom Lepic Duals, sliding in behind champion Fort Dodge and runner-up Blue Springs.
West finished 3-2 with wins over Pleasant Valley (54-19), Lewis Central (55-22) and Albia (55-9), along with losses to Fort Dodge (43-30) and Blue Springs (51-30). The Trojans bounded out to a 2-0 start after the first two rounds before dropping battles in rounds three and four. The Albia victory ended the West afternoon on a positive note.
The Trojans’ Hans von Rabenau (106), Nelson Brands (152) and Carter Rohweder (160 and 170) all finished 5-0.
Gary Curtis Invitational update
A number of Iowa City-area schools competed in Saturday’s Gary Curtis Invitational at Highland High School, led by West Liberty’s second-place finish, with 163.5 points. Regina finished fifth (104.5), followed by West Branch in 10th (32.0) and Highland in 11th (28.5).
West Liberty’s Joe Kelly (152) and Bryce Esmoil (195) each wrestled to individual titles, while the Comets’ Will Esmoil (106), Talen Dengler (113), Coy Ruess (126), Noah Bierman (132) and Austin Beaver (145) all secured third-place showings.
Top-ranked Jared Brinkman, meanwhile, continued his dominance at 285, giving Regina its only individual champion with a win over Washington’s Mitchell Huisenga. Brinkman is now 20-0 this season. The Regals’ Ryan Schott (160) and Nick Milder (170) reached title matches as well, but both fell to earn second-place honors.
Cale Donovan’s third-place showing at 170 pounds paced West Branch, while Cullen Klebe (113) and Cory Stewart (132) both finished fourth to lead Highland.
Dargan Southard covers preps, recruiting, Iowa and UNI athletics for the Iowa City Press-Citizen, The Des Moines Register and HawkCentral.com. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter at @Dargan_Southard.