City High freshman Rose NkumuBy Ryan Murken
Your Prep Sports
It often takes first-year players a couple of games, even a couple of weeks to get comfortable playing at the varsity level.
City High freshmen Aubrey Joens and Rose Nkumu haven’t needed that early season adjustment period.
Then again, Joens and Nkumu aren’t exactly your average freshmen.
Nkumu and Joens are both off to strong starts to their careers, helping Class 5A second-ranked City High open the season with five straight wins.
“They have played a lot of basketball so they are beyond their years as far as basketball age,” City High coach Bill McTaggart said. “They don’t play like freshman.”
Nkumu and Joens have provided an immediate boost to the City High backcourt.
Joens scored a team-high 14 points in her varsity debut, a 55-47 win over Linn-Mar, and hasn’t slowed down since.
The 5-foot-8 Joens is averaging 10.4 points per game and leads City High with 10 3-pointers.
“This summer I was nervous playing with the varsity but I haven’t been nervous this season,” Joens said. “To get out there and get going is great, it feels a lot more natural now.”
Nkumu has had her own immediate impact.
The 5-foot-7 point guard is averaging 10.2 points per game while shooting better than 67 percent from the floor.
Nkumu is second
“I give all the credit to my travel team coaches and these high school coaches for preparing me for this,” Nkumu said. “I have played up pretty much my whole life and it’s gotten me ready for this.”
Nkumu and Joens have done a lot more than just score points for the Little Hawks this season.
Joens ranks second on the team behind older sister Ashley with 6.2 rebounds per game and leads City High with 13 steals.
Nkumu is second on the team in assists and third in steals.
“They are very skilled they complement each other well,” McTaggart said. “We wouldn’t be where we are at, ranked number two without those two.”
Nkumu and Joens play together in the summer, that familiarity has transferred over to the court this season at City High.
“It’s really nice to have Rose playing with me because we have worked together and we know what we can do and what we are capable of,” Joens said.
While the duo has been impressive early they haven’t been surprising.
The upperclassmen on the roster knew the dup would be ready to provide assistance this season.
“I knew they were going to be a great help to the team,” Ashley Joens said. “They came in and they really picked it up quick.”
Program History: Regina won its 300th game since the start of the 2000-2001 season on Dec. 4 with a 58-23 victory at Clear Creek Amana.
The Regals are now 303-84 during that stretch and have won 26 consecutive regular season games dating back to 2015.
Top Performances: Regina junior Mary Crompton made 6-of-8 3-pointers and had a career-high 29 points in a 71-20 win over West Liberty.
West Branch junior Tatum Koenig had 33 points, eight steals and six rebounds in a 65-32 win over West Liberty
Solon senior Josie Durr had 10 points, nine rebounds and eight steals in a 40-36 loss to Central DeWitt.
City High junior Ashley Joens 30 points and 13 rebounds in 77-47 win over Cedar Rapids Prairie.
West High junior Logan Cook 16 points, 12 rebounds and five assists 59-44 win over Dubuque Hempstead.