Gradwell, Musgrave get promoted
West Marshall, South Tama standouts honored with first-team all-state selection
DES MOINES — In the inaugural all-state girls’ basketball selections by the Iowa Print Sports Writers Association, both West Marshall senior Isabelle Gradwell and South Tama County junior Jessica Musgrave have been named to the Class 3A all-state first team.
Gradwell led West Marshall this season to a 19-5 record and a second-straight regional final. She improved on her second-team selection in 2017 by leading the class in 3-pointers made with 89 makes from deep, 11 more than Taylor Houska from East Sac County in second. Gradwell’s mark from behind the arc was third in the state, regardless of class, and she hit 36.6 percent of her shots from 3-point land.
She wasn’t just a threat from deep, however, as Gradwell finished second in points scored in 3A with 522, second only to Musgrave. She also finished fourth in the class in assists with 106, ninth in blocks with 45 and 10th in defensive rebounds with 142. She also had the second-most points scored in a game in 3A this season with a 41-point effort against Gladbrook-Reinbeck, a game where she hit nine 3-pointers to set a new school record in points and 3-point makes.
Gradwell will be attending Wayne State University in Wayne, Neb., next season to continue her basketball career.
Musgrave was the leading scorer in 3A with 546 total points this season while shooting 52.6 percent from the floor. She scored 26 of her team’s 38 points in the regional finals against Gradwell and West Marshall to propel STC into the state tournament for only the second time in the five-player format.
Musgrave, a third-team selection in 2017, also finished third in the class in steals with 137 and fourth in the 3A in offensive rebounds with 98. She eclipsed 1,000 points for her career with another year left to add to it. In the three regional games to get to the state tournament, Musgrave averaged 24.6 points, 9.7 rebounds and seven steals per contest. She also has the third-highest single-game scoring mark in 3A this season with a 39-point game against Vinton-Shellsburg.
Three area girls were given second-team honors in their classes, with senior Many Willems and junior Aubrie Fisher each representing AGWSR on the 1A second team and junior Hailey Wallis representing state runner-up Grundy Center on the second team in 2A.
Wallis ended her season with arguably the best game of her career, scoring the final 24 points for the Spartans in the last three quarters to almost overcome Cascade in the 2A finals. She had 29 points and eight rebounds in the game, an effort that earned her team-captain honors for the 2A all-tournament squad.
Wallis finished the season averaging 14.9 points per game while racking up 88 total steals and 114 total rebounds. This is the first all-state selection for Wallis, though she is a two-time unanimous first-team all-NICL West Division choice after earning that honor again this season.
Willems was named the co-NICL West Outstanding Player this season, along with Gradwell. She finished second in 1A in 3-pointers made with 81 this season while shooting 47.1 percent from downtown. She averaged 18.6 points per game this season, 10th-best mark in 1A, and she had a team-high 82 steals and 29 blocks. She was the driving force that led the Cougars to a 21-3 record, their best mark since winning the state title in 2009. In the run to the state championships, Willems averaged 23 points per game in the three regional games while 14-for-25 behind the 3-point line.
Fisher was the next-best player for the Cougars in their first state appearance since 2009. She averaged 13.1 points per game while shooting 53.2 percent from the floor, including a 50 percent mark from deep. She also led AGWSR in assists with 95 while also chipping in 91 rebounds and 62 steals, and she shot 81 percent at the charity stripe. She scored a career-high 26 points in a game against BCLUW this year, and she upped her points per game average by almost five points from last season.
Iowa City High senior Ashley Joens was selected as Miss Iowa Basketball 2018 by print sports writers and coaches.
A versatile 6-footer and an Iowa State University signee, Joens averaged 30.7 points and 11.4 rebounds per game as the Little Hawks went 25-1 with a Class 5A runner-up finish at the state tournament. She shot 61.8 percent from the field (including 59.5 percent from 3-point range) and 80.3 percent from the free-throw line.
Joens concluded her career with 2,178 points, which ranks No. 13 in five-player state history.