The City High girls basketball team poses with the state qualification banner after defeating the Ankeny Centennial Jaguars 48-32. (Noah Bullwinkle)
The City High girls basketball team poses with the state qualification banner after defeating the Ankeny Centennial Jaguars 48-32.

Noah Bullwinkle

City Beats Ankeny Centennial to Advance to State

City High knocked off the ninth ranked Ankeny Centennial Jaguars at home 48-32 to qualify for the state tournament next week.

February 22, 2017


After a three year hiatus, the Little Hawks are returning to the state tournament. The Little Hawks defeated the Ankeny Centennial Jaguars at City High on Tuesday night to book their trip.

“It feels so great, having a three year absence was really hard on us and we’ve worked really hard this year to get back and it’s so exciting,” Kenya Earl ’17 said about returning to state.

The Little Hawks got off to a bit of a slow start, trailing 4-0 after the first two minutes. Later in the quarter, City High’s defense was able to force some turnovers and make some shots. Christina Hora ’18 had a steal and layup just before the first quarter buzzer sounded to give City High a 12-6 lead.

After a very low scoring second quarter in which the teams combined for only 14 points, the Little Hawks took a 19-13 lead into the locker room.

“It’s been a tough half. It’s a low scoring game, which is always scary,” team manager Sameer Ali said at halftime.

The Little Hawks were able to come out and score points to extend it to a ten point lead and force Centennial to call a timeout early in the third quarter. The Little Hawks led it 35-21 at the end of the third quarter. However, in the fourth quarter, the Jaguars went on a bit of a run to make it a game late, causing McTaggart to call timeout.

“We just said that to regain our composure, we work on this in practice, game situations, take a deep breath and go out there and finish the game,” McTaggart said.

The Little Hawks closed out the game with a few baskets, and clinched its state birth. Ashley Joens ’18 led the Little Hawks with 13 points and 12 rebounds.

“Just getting whoever was open the ball so they could knock down the open shots,” Joens said of leading the team to victory and helping her team.

This is the first time the Little Hawks have qualified for the state tournament since 2014.

“We’re gonna have a good week in practice. The season begins now,” McTaggart said. “We just gotta take it one game at a time.”

The Little Hawks take on Cedar Falls at 3:15 on Wednesday, March 1st at the Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines.  Tickets may be purchased in the City High main office beginning Monday at 8:30am for $10 for the first round game. Tickets are also available for purchase either at the Wells Fargo Box Office, by telephone at 866-553-2457, or through the Wells Fargo web site (

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