Your Prep Sports
The basketball season officially opened for girls teams around the state with the first day of practice last week.
The goal for every team that hit the court last Monday was a trip to the state tournament to be held February 28 – March 5 at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines.
Before games get started for area teams next week here is a look at 10 players to watch in the Your Prep Sports area this season.
Junior, City High
Joens emerged as one of the top players in the state a year ago with a breakthrough season in which she ranked eighth in Class 5A in scoring with 18.7 points per game while earning second-team all-state honors.
An Iowa State commit, the 5-foot-10 Joens scored in double figures in all 15 games a year ago, netting 20 points or more six times while shooting 40 percent from the field and 76 percent from the free throw line.
Joens also averaged 5.5 rebounds per game and led City High with 3.3 assists and 2 steals.
Senior, West Branch
Luneckas emerged as one of the top post players in Class 2A last winter with a breakthrough season in which she nearly averaged a double-double while ranking fifth in 2A in blocked shots.
A Minnesota State recruit, the 6-foot-2 Luneckas averaged 11.7 points, 9.7 rebounds and 2.6 blocks per game last season while shooting 49 percent from the field and 77 percent from the free throw line while helping West Branch reach the Class 2A state semifinals.
Levin committed to Iowa over the summer following an impressive freshman season in which she was one of only two players in the state to average 19 points, 5 rebounds, 4 steals and 3.5 assists per game.
A 5-foot-9 point guard, Levin was named the WAMAC East Division player of the year and was a first-team Class 3A all-state selection after averaging 19 points, 5 rebounds, 4 steals and 3.7 assists per game while shooting 47 percent from the field last season.
Senior, West High
After missing her sophomore season with an injury Ingersoll-Weng bounced back with a strong junior season averaging a career-high 9.1 points per game.
The 5-foot-5 guard led West High with 3.3 assists per game a year ago to go with 3.6 rebounds and 1.6 steals while helping the Trojans reach the Class 5A semifinals.
Already a two-year starter for the Regals Gaarde will look to take an even bigger role this season after leading the Regals in assists, steals and 3-point percentage last season.
Gaarde ranked second on the team with 9.3 points per game a year ago for Regina and led the Regals with 3.7 assists and 2.9 steals per game while shooting 36 percent from 3-point range.
The versatile Gaarde also averaged 2.7 rebounds per game from her point guard spot.
Senior, Clear Creek Amana
Clubb was one of only five players in 4A to average a double-double last season putting up 11.7 points and 10.6 rebounds per game.
An Illinois State volleyball recruit, the 6-foot Clubb ranked sixth in 4A in rebounding and blocked shots with 1.9 per game while shooting a career-best 52 percent from the floor.
Clubb was a unanimous all WAMAC West division selection and second team all-state selection last year.
Senior, City High
Richardson joined Joens with a breakthrough season a year ago earning third-team Class 5A all-state honors after averaging career highs in points, rebounds and assists.
An Omaha recruit, Richardson averaged 14.3 points and a team-high 7.8 rebounds last season while ranking second on the team with 2.7 assists per game.
The 5-foot-11 Richardson is a difficult matchup for opponents with the ability to score in the paint or from the perimeter where she shot 32 percent from 3-point range.
Junior, Liberty High
Meyer should be in line for a breakthrough season after averaging career-highs in points and rebounds last season.
The 6-foot-1 Meyer averaged 6.7 points and 5.1 rebounds per game last season while shooting 36 percent from the floor and 67 percent from the free throw line.
Junior, West High
Tate will be expected to take on a much larger role for West High this season after a strong sophomore campaign a year ago.
The 5-foot-8 Tate averaged 8.7 points, 4.2 rebounds and 2.6 assists and 1.4 steals per game last season while shooting 40 percent from the field.
Tate was at her best at the 5A state tournament scoring a career-high 21 points in a quarterfinal win over Waterloo West.
A four-year starter Holtkamp has helped Solon go from three wins in the 2018-2019 season to a 17-6 mark and a WAMAC East Division title last season.
The 5-foot-8 Holtkamp averaged 8.5 points, 2.9 rebounds, 2 assists and 1.3 steals per game last season while helping Solon reach a 3A regional final.