Jaime Brandt, Amanda Ollinger and the Linn-Mar Lions are a lot more comfortable in their roles on the girls basketball team this season after a year of getting to know each other.
They hope it translates into a successful season and a trip to the Class 5A state tournament in Des Moines.
Brandt became the head coach at her alma mater last year when she was just 24 years old following an outstanding career at the University of Iowa and one year as an assistant coach at Linn-Mar. The Lions got off to a good start in November and December, but everyone was thrown an unexpected curve when Ollinger transferred from Cedar Rapids Jefferson to Linn-Mar and began playing for the Lions in January.
Ollinger is one of the top players in the state and a future Hawkeye, but the Lions hit a few bumps in January with a six-game losing streak before clicking again in February.