Monday, November 30, 2015
SUNDAY'S SCOREBOARD - MEN'S BASKETBALL: Wisconsin-Platteville 72, Coe 57 ... Saint Francis 94, Mount Mercy 92 ... WOMEN'S BASKETBALL ... Coe 86, MacMurray 58 ... Doane 76, Mount Mercy 49 ...
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Jim Ecker, President & Editor

Metro Sports Report

Lilly nears 500 wins as Xavier begins

Every year, the Xavier girls basketball team seems to graduate its leadingĀ scorer after another successful campaign. And every year, a new senior seems to step forward and grab the reins.

"I can't remember the last time we had our leading scorer coming back," legendary coach Tom Lilly said Thursday. "It seems like every year our leading scorer or leading rebounder is somebody who puts on the cap and gown. So we take the next kid with the most experience and we flip roles."

The system has worked just fine.

Lilly has captured four state titles at Xavier and begins his 31st year as a head coach in the local Catholic school system with an impressive record of 496-216 overall, including a 308-114 mark in 17 years with the Saints.

He hears rumors about his impending retirement every year, but has no plans to step aside anytime soon.


No. 3 Cougars aim to slay No. 1 Dowling

The Dowling Catholic football team has devoured its last two opponents from Cedar Rapids in the Class 4A finals.

Two years ago, Dowling feasted on the Xavier Saints in the championship game by the lopsided score of 44-13. Last year, the Maroons gobbled up the Washington Warriors for another crown in a 49-14 blowout.

The Kennedy Cougars are not only determined to make it a much closer game this year: They are determined to prevail and snap Dowling's stranglehold on the playoffs.

The third-ranked Cougars (13-0) meet top-ranked Dowling (12-0) in the Class 4A championship game Monday at 7:06 p.m. at the UNI-Dome in Cedar Falls. The game was postponed from Friday due to a snowstorm that struck Iowa Friday.

The Cougars respect Dowling, but they do not fear the mighty Maroons. "They're just another group of kids wearing different colored jerseys," Kennedy Coach Brian White maintained in the days leading up to the game.

The Cougars are underdogs, but that's OK with them.


Prairie girls look to rebound this season

Josh Bentley was accustomed to success in his previous stops as a head basketball coach, so his initial campaign at Cedar Rapids Prairie last season came as a cold slap in the face.

The Prairie girls lost six games by single digits and finished with a disappointing 4-18 record.

Bentley blames himself as much as anyone.

"It wasn't fun at all," he said Friday. "To be honest, it was a year that humbled me, woke me up, made me reflect on some things that I'd grown accustomed to and I wasn't totally focusing on details. I don't think I did justice to the girls as much as I should have.

"I definitely learned a lot," he said, "and I think that's helped me move forward for this year and hopefully for years in the future. Avoiding another year like that would be great. I don't want to have another one like that ever again."

Neither do his players.


Comfortable Lions seek trip to state

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.


J-Hawks looking to bounce back

Jason Edwards never saw it coming last season.

The Jefferson girls basketball team had gotten off to a nice start with a 5-3 record, but Amanda Ollinger left the club in mid-December and began playing for Linn-Mar a few weeks after that.

The J-Hawks, staggered by the blow, won only three more games the rest of the season, although Edwards thought his players handled the adversity the best they could.

"I think the kids did a nice job of circling the wagons and sticking together," he said Thursday. "We all wish Amanda well. She's a good player, obviously. They did what they needed to do for their family.

"Obviously in the middle of the season it takes awhile to find your identity without a very important piece, but I thought the girls did a really nice job of that. I've been very pleased."

Ollinger averaged 17.8 points and 11.8 rebounds during the first eight games of the 2014-15 campaign at Jefferson before the family left and moved into the Linn-Mar district. Ollinger is a senior at Linn-Mar now and the J-Hawks have turned the page.


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Metro Schedule

Sunday, Nov. 29 Friday, Dec. 4
MBB: Wisconsin-Platteville 72, Coe 57 USHL: RoughRiders at Sioux Falls, 7:05 p.m.
MBB: St. Francis 94, Mount Mercy 92 BBB: Solon at Marion, 7:30 p.m.
WBB: Coe 86, MacMurray 58 BBB: Burlington at Jefferson, 7:30 p.m.
WBB: Doane 76, Mount Mercy 49 BBB: Bettendorf at Washington, 7:30 p.m.

BBB: Kennedy at Sioux City North, 7:30 p.m.
Monday, Nov. 30 BBB: Cedar Valley Christian at Easton Valley, 7:30 p.m.
BBB: Xavier at Mount Pleasant, 7:30 p.m. GBB: Marion at Solon, 7:30 p.m.

GBB: Cedar Falls at Prairie, 7:30 p.m.
Tuesday, Dec. 1 GBB: Kennedy at Iowa City High, 7:30 p.m.
BBB: Marion at Maquoketa, 7:30 p.m. GBB: Jefferson at Waterloo East, 7:30 p.m.
BBB: Davenport West at Prairie, 7:30 p.m. GBB: Linn-Mar at Waterloo West, 7:30 p.m.
BBB: New Hampton at Washington, 7:30 p.m. GBB: Dubuque Wahlert at Xavier, 7:30 p.m.
BBB: Jefferson at Clinton, 7:30 p.m. GBB: Cedar Valley Christian at Easton Valley, 6 p.m.
BBB: Waukee at Linn-Mar, 7:30 p.m. GBOWL: Linn-Mar at Iowa City High, 3:15 p.m.
BBB: Cedar Valley Christian at Springville, 7:30 p.m. GBOWL: Xavier at Kennedy, 3:45 p.m.
GBB: Maquoketa at Marion, 7:30 p.m. GBOWL: Washington at Jefferson, 3:45 p.m.
GBB: Xavier at Cedar Falls, 7:30 p.m. GBOWL: Iowa City West at Prairie, 4 p.m.
GBB: Dubuque Hempstead at Jefferson, 7:30 p.m. BBOWL: Linn-Mar at Iowa City High, 3:15 p.m.
GBB: Waterloo West at Kennedy, 7:30 p.m. BBOWL: Xavier at Kennedy, 3:45 p.m.
GBB: Prairie at Iowa City West, 7:30 p.m. BBOWL: Washington at Jefferson, 3:45 p.m.
GBB: Washington at Dubuque Wahlert, 7:30 p.m. BBOWL: Iowa City West at Prairie, 4 p.m.
GBB: Cedar Valley Christian at Springville, 6:15 p.m. MBB: Wisconsin-LaCrosse at Coe, 7 p.m.
BSWM: Linn-Mar, Vinton-Shellsburg at Kennedy, 6 p.m.
BSWM: Iowa City West at Washington, 6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 5
BSWM: Jefferson at Waterloo West, 6 p.m. USHL: Green Bay at RoughRiders, 7:05 p.m.
GBOWL: Marion at Western Dubuque, 4 p.m. BBB: Waverly-Shell Rock at Xavier, 3 p.m.
BBOWL: Marion at Western Dubuque, 4 p.m. BBB: Kennedy at Spirit Lake, 4:30 p.m.
HSWRST: Washington, Mount Vernon at Marion, 6 p.m. BBB: Linn-Mar at Bettendorf, 6:30 p.m.

BBB: Prairie at Muscatine, 6:30 p.m.
Wednesday, Dec. 2 GBB: Prairie at Marion, 2:30 p.m.
WBB: John Wood at Kirkwood, 5:30 p.m. GBB: West Des Moines Valley at Jefferson, 3:30 p.m.
WBB: Mount Mercy at Luther, 5:30 p.m. GBB: Pleasant Valley at Kennedy, 7 p.m.
WBB: Coe at Wisconsin-Platteville, 7 p.m. HSWRST: Marion at Monticello Tournament, 10 a.m.
MBB: John Wood at Kirkwood, 7:30 p.m. HSWRST: Washington at Bondurant-Farrar Tournament, 10 a.m.
MBB: Mount Mercy at Luther, 7:30 p.m. HSWRST: Jefferson, Kennedy at Cedar Falls Invitational, 10 a.m.
CWRST: Buena Vista at Coe, 7 p.m. HSWRST: Prairie, Linn-Mar at Independence Tournament, 10 a.m.

BSWM: Jefferson Relays, 10 a.m.
Thursday, Dec. 3 BSWM: Washington at Ames Invitational, 11 a.m.
GBB: Dubuque Senior at Washington, 7:30 p.m. WBB: Marshalltown at Kirkwood, 1 p.m.
HSWRST: Jefferson, Dubuque Wahlert at Cedar Falls, 5:30 p.m. WBB: Lincoln Christian at Mount Mercy, 1 p.m.
HSWRST: Washington, Waterloo West at Waterlo East, 5:30 p.m. MBB: Kirkwood at Southeastern, 3 p.m.
HSWRST: Iowa City West at Xavier, 7 p.m. M/WSWM: Kohawk Invitational, 10 a.m.
HSWRST: Linn-Mar at Dubuque Hempstead, 7 p.m.
HSWRST: Prairie at Dubuque Senior, 7 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 6
HSWRST: Kennedy at Iowa City High, 7 p.m. No events scheduled


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