By Ryan Murken
Your Prep Sports
IOWA CITY – For many coaches the lines about balanced scoring and multiple players being able to lead the team in scoring are nothing more than coach speak.
Clichéd quotes that rank right behind “taking it one game at a time”.
When BJ Mayer says those things about his West High squad they are true and the Women of Troy spent the regular season providing the proof.
Six different players have posted team-high point totals this season for 5A fourth-ranked West High (18-3) helping the Women of Troy rank sixth in 5A averaging nearly 65 points per game.
“We have had six different kids lead us in scoring and that is almost unheard of in this day and age,” Mayer said. “Just the balance that we have and the ability to share the ball is a huge thing. I don’t have kids that need to get their shots up and that’s very refreshing to me.”
West High isn’t the highest scoring team but they may be the most balanced offensive team in Iowa.
Five players average better than eight points per game for West High and seven players have scored in double figures this season for the Women of Troy.
“On this team nobody feels that there is one player that is really the star and that creates a balanced environment for us,” West High junior Rachael Saunders said. “No one has to feel like they have to do everything.”
Juniors Logan Cook (14.8) Saunders (12.4) lead the West High scoring attack as the only two players that average in double figures.
Saunders and Cook are just two in a long line of West High players that have taken turns as the team’s leading scorer.
Seniors Katie McGrane and Maddie Huinker have both led West High in scoring this season as have sophomore Emma Koch and Lauren Zacharias.
All of those players have scored in double figures this season along with sophomore Cailyn Morgan.
“I think our kids have really bought into playing together as a team and not really worrying about their stats,” Mayer said. “They try to find the hot hand and if it’s not their night they are going to try to do something else either defensively or passing the ball to get the team a win and if we continue to do that good things are probably going to happen.”
The balanced scoring system has worked well for West High which closed the regular season with four straight wins and opens postseason play in the 5A, Region 4 semifinals on Saturday.
Huinker averages 8.6 points per game while Koch and Zacharias both average 8.0 points per contest while Morgan average 5.5 points per game.
Embracing the attitude of balance has spread to more than just scoring for West High.
Mayer has consistently used nine players this season, getting contributions from 6-foot-1 senior Ali Tauchen and 6-foot-1 junior Paige Beckner.
Seven players have more than 60 rebounds and five players have more than 30 assists and 30 steals.
“On any given game anyone can contribute and that comes in all sorts ways,” Saunders said.
“Paige Beckner is really great at blocking shots and she can really defend the post well and she contributes just as much as anyone else.”
West High flashed the balance in its regular season finale at Waterloo West.
All five West High starters scored in double figures in the 62-42 win over the WaHawks led by Cook with 18.
“That might have been the first time that we have done that,” Mayer said. “We have five kids that are averaging eight and 14 points and kids that come off the bench are averaging three and six and two but those kids have all scored eight to 15 points in a game.”
Still Unbeaten: Regina was one of only six teams to make it through the regular season unbeaten joining Treynor, Central Decatur, Janesville, Sioux Center and Indianola.
Half of the unbeaten teams are in Class 2A as Treynor and Central Decatur join Regina as 2A undefeated teams.
Rankings update: Regina will open the postseason the same way it started the regular season, atop the Class 2A rankings.
The Regals remained number one in the final rankings of the season released by the Iowa High School Girls Athletic Union on Thursday.
Following Regina in the 2A rankings are Treynor, Central Decatur, Western Christian and North Linn.
Sioux Center held the top spot in the final 3A rankings while Springville is number one in Class 1A.
The final rankings for Class 4A and 5A will be released on Monday.
Top Performances: City High freshman Rose Nkumu had 16 points and five assists in a 95-40 win over Cedar Rapids Washington.
West High junior Rachael Saunders had 21 points, four rebounds, four assists and four steals in a 65-35 win over Linn-Mar.
West High junior Logan Cook had 18 points, 10 rebounds and three assists in a 62-42 win over Waterloo West.
Regina senior Sarah Lehman had 19 points, five rebounds, five assists and four steals in a 76-44 win over Tipton.
Solon senior Josie Durr had 16 points, 10 steals and five assists in a 61-41 loss to Mount Vernon.