Courtney and Kelsey Joens team up to help lead West Liberty

Published: Dec. 15, 2022 at 7:43 PM CST
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WEST LIBERTY, Iowa (KCRG) - After serving as a volunteer assistant at Iowa City High last year, Courtney Joens takes over as the head coach of the West Liberty girls basketball team.

“I’ve led like a bunch of youth stuff in the past,” Joens said. “To be able to lead a high school team, has been something new and kind of fun.”

The Comets gained two Joens sisters. Kelsey Joens transferred from City High to West Liberty for her senior season.

“It’s been a good different. Coming in, a whole different system, whole different team, but they make me fit in like I’ve been here the whole time,” she said.

Kelsey, an Iowa State commit, helped the Little Hawks to the Class 5A state quarterfinals. She’s been a welcome addition to the Comets averaging 24 points on a team who reached the Class 3A regional semifinals last season.

“Definitely having a shooter and someone who’s willing to be aggressive under the basket, we were kind of lacking that last year,” senior guard Finley Hall said. “We didn’t really have someone that could handle the ball well, shoot and go under the basket. We had little pieces, but she’s kind of all three in one.”

There’s no shortage of talent in their family. Kelsey is the third sister to commit to the Cyclones out of high school, while Courtney played at Illinois.

“She’s been through it, so she knows exactly what she’s doing, what’s going on,” Kelsey said about her sister. “She understands basketball at like the highest level. We haven’t experienced that yet as a team, so we learn so much from her.”

The Joens’ are one of four pairs of sisters on the Comets roster. If there’s anyone who understands sibling dynamics, its Hall who has three sisters.

“Sometimes it will be like straight to business, other times it will be like ‘oh, coach let’s do this.’ It gets a little sarcastic sometimes,” Hall said about the Joens’ relationship.

At the end of the day, there’s no bond stronger than family. The duo is looking forward to a season together.

“She listens to me which is good, but we’ve grown up with basketball together all the time. We kind of have the same philosophy and know a lot of the same stuff, so it’s kind of good to bounce ideas back and forth off of each other on the car ride up here,” Courtney said.

The Comets who sit 3-2 on the season are set to host West Branch on Saturday, Dec. 17.