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Wednesday, May 04, 2016
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Metro Sports Report

Mount Mercy rallies to win NAIA opener in OT

The Mount Mercy men's basketball team lived dangerously at the NAIA Division II national tournament Wednesday morning but survived to play another day.

The 14th-ranked Mustangs rallied from a 15-point deficit and trimmed No. 17 Southern Oregon, 98-97, in the opening round at Keeter Gymnasium in Point Lookout, Mo.

Alex Houston scored on a tip-in with nine seconds left in overtime to give Mount Mercy the go-ahead points. Ben DeSaulnier missed a contested 3-pointer at the buzzer that would have won the game for Southern Oregon.

Mount Mercy (26-7) will face top-ranked Saint Francis (Ind.), which moved to 30-4  with a 96-81 win Wednesday over Dakota State, in the Sweet 16 Friday at 10:15 a.m.

The Mustangs fell behind by 15 points in the first half and trailed 58-47 at intermission against the Raiders, who reached the Elite 8 of the NAIA tournament last March.

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Burger helps Saints topple Spirit Lake

DES MOINES - Mitchell Burger plays basketball like he's Jimmy Cagney in one of those old tough-guy movies from the 1930's, where Cagney struts around with a big chip on his shoulder and proves to the world that he's just as good as anybody.

That was Burger in his unusual role of super-sub in the Class 3A state basketball tournament Tuesday night, strutting around Wells Fargo Arena and acting like he didn't have a care in the world.

Burger returned from a two-game suspension and poured in 25 points as the 10th-ranked Xavier Saints stumped No. 3 Spirit Lake, 58-47, in the quarterfinals to keep their season alive for two more games.

The Saints (17-8) will face top-ranked Pella (23-1) in the semifinals at 8:15 p.m. Thursday, and win or lose they'll play again on Saturday.

Burger did not start against Spirit Lake, but he picked up right where he left off three games ago and sparked the Saints to a 29-19 lead at intermission. And on the defensive end, the Saints threw a blanket over 6-foot-10 center Ryan Kriener and kept the future Iowa Hawkeye under wraps most of the night.

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7 Metro girls make all-state hoops

If you'd like to assemble an all-star girls basketball team from the Metro area for the 2015-16 campaign, look no further than the all-state squads that were announced Tuesday by the Iowa Newspaper Association.

You could win a lot of games with the seven Metro girls who were honored by the INA.

Amanda Ollinger of Linn-Mar, Lela Sellers of Kennedy and Chloe Rice of Marion were named first-team selections for their outstanding performances this season. Kennedy Dighton of Jefferson, Joniqua Clark of Washington, Kamryn Finley of Linn-Mar and Mia Laube of Marion garnered third-team laurels on the all-state squad.

Makenzie Meyer, who led Mason City to the Class 4A state title, was named Miss Basketball. She scored 1,590 points during her career and has signed with the Iowa Hawkeyes.

Ollinger and Finley helped Linn-Mar reach the semifinals of the Class 5A state tournament. Ollinger, a senior who has signed with Iowa, averaged 17.8 points and led Class 5A in rebounding at 10.9 per game. Finley, a sophomore, contributed 12.2 points and 3.3 rebounds for the Lions.

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Wensel shines at Dickinson Relays

CEDAR FALLS - Linn-Mar sophomore Payton Wensel is obsessed with breaking the Class 4A state record in the 400 meter dash this spring.

In fact, she's got that record time imprinted on her brain.

"55.41," she said Monday, rapidly ticking off the numbers. "It's the password on my computer."

She's definitely headed in the right direction.

Wensel captured the 400 meter dash in 56.73 seconds at the annual Dickinson Relays Monday in the UNI-Dome, an unusually swift time for an indoor meet on a flat 200-meter track in March.

She'll be aiming for that 55.41 sometime this spring, perhaps at the Class 4A state meet on the famed Blue Oval at Drake Stadium in Des Moines.

Ellen Dougherty of Sioux City East set that meet record in 2009 and Wensel types those numbers by memory every time she logs onto her personal computer. "It's definitely in my sights," she said.

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3 Metro girls top final 5A stats

Three Metro area girls finished the basketball season as the Class 5A state leader in statistical categories.

Topping the largest class were Linn-Mar's Amanda Ollinger in rebounding average (10.9), Washington's Joniqua Clark in steals (106) and Kennedy's Sydney Hayden in 3-point field goals made (65).

Ollinger, who started her career at Jefferson and will continue it at Iowa, also ranked No. 3 in 5A in blocked shots (62), No. 6 in scoring average (17.8) and No. 7 in steals (73). Ollinger's 273 rebounds this season are third in Metro history and she ranks No. 8 all-time in career rebounds (780). She had 1,343 career points, 15th in Metro annals.

Clark, who also was eighth in 5A in assists, posted the third-best season steals total in Metro history. Hayden had 65 3-point goals this season, one ahead of three others in 5A. Her season 3-pointers rank No. 2 in Metro history and she finished No. 8 in career 3-pointers (118).

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Page 6 of 1295

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