Sunday, July 23, 2017
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Jim Ecker, President & Editor

Metro Sports Report

Skinny Prairie Hawks give Kennedy a battle

Jacob Aune took off his jersey in the Prairie locker room Tuesday night and revealed nothing but skin and bones.

"I know I'm skinny," he said. "I've been skinny my whole life."

Skinny, but tough.

The skinny Hawks from Prairie gave the brawny fifth-ranked Cougars from Kennedy a stiff battle Tuesday night before falling short, 62-48, in a Mississippi Valley Conference game at Kennedy.

Aune, a 6-foot-2 junior, said he weighs about 138 or 140 pounds, which means he was giving away at least 75 pounds to the football players who play basketball at Kennedy.

Christian French stands 6-foot-6 and weighs 225 pounds, Kyle Lamaak is 6-foot-4 and 215, Jake Manning (who doesn't play football) is 6-foot-5 and 213 pounds. That's what Kennedy had near the basket.

Meanwhile, Prairie countered with a 138-pounder and a 5-foot-8 point guard named Jerome Frazier who showed no fear.

"Playing against guys like Christian (French) is fun," Aune insisted, "being able to go into him and see what I can do."

Aune popped in 18 points and hit two 3-pointers to help the Hawks stay within striking distance. His 3-pointer pulled Prairie within 41-38 early in the fourth quarter.


No. 2 Lions flatten Waterloo East

The only thing that wasn’t working at Linn-Mar Tuesday night was the public address system and the foul board.

The Linn-Mar offense was hitting on all cylinders. The Lions routed Waterloo East, 80-15, in a Mississippi Valley Conference girls basketball fgame.

No. 2 Linn-Mar (16-1, 11-1 MVC) built a 51-9 lead by halftime.

On paper this looked like it would be a mismatch with the best team in the Mississippi Division taking on the weakest in the Valley Division.

Linn-Mar Coach Mike Brandt was happy afterward, even with this easy victory compared to a major win Saturday over Class 3A No. 1 Ballard.

“I was pleased we picked up our defense tonight,” Brandt said. "We played our game, which I was hoping for, and executed well all night long.”

All-American Kiah Stokes scored 30 points to lead the Lions.

Linn-Mar streaked to a 19-0 lead.


Telling the story of A Coach's Life

(Editor’s Note: Dan Kellams, a Marion High School graduate, is the author of “A Coach’s Life: Les Hipple and the Marion Indians,” the fascinating biography of one of Iowa’s greatest high school coaches. Kellams played four sports under the coach.)

At first, I had no intention of writing a book. Certainly not one that would take 10 years to finish.

The task began when I attended the 45th reunion of my Marion High School class in 1999. I had not seen most of my classmates for years, and the experience left me weak with nostalgia. Les Hipple, the coach who had dominated our high school days, had died a few months earlier. I told my classmates I was going to write something about Coach Hipple.

As the research began, word started going around that I was writing a book about Les Hipple.

“No, no,” I said. “I’m not going to write a book.  Something else ... an article maybe.  I can’t do a book.”

Eventually I realized that Les Hipple’s story had to be a book. The influence he had on so many athletes required it. And the arc of his career at Marion, where he rose to glory and fell in disgrace, had elements of classic tragedy that could not be summarized in an article.

Hired in 1945 to bring discipline to the school, he was fired in 1965 for being too strict. When everything around him changed, the coach did not, and it cost him a job he loved.


This wasn't your mother's brand of basketball

Until the 1970s, there were no girls basketball teams in the Metro area. When basketball was introduced here, it was the 6-on-6, two-court variety.

Forwards played offense, guards played defense and neither were allowed to cross half court. A girl could dribble no more than twice. Defenders touching the ball in the offensive player’s hand were called for a foul.

My, how things have changed.


Linn-Mar boys still No. 1

Undefeated Linn-Mar is still the No. 1 Class 4A boys basketball team in the state according to the Associated Press rankings released Monday.

Two other Metro teams also are ranked. Kennedy dropped one spot to fifth in this week's poll and Jefferson advanced two spots to No. 6.

Washington was among the teams receiving votes.

Linn-Mar (13-0) received all 13 first-place votes. Ankeny (11-1) moved up one spot to No. 2 and Cedar Falls (9-2) jumped four spots to third. Sioux City East fell three spots to fourth, followed by Kennedy and Jefferson.

The top-ranked teams in the other classes are Sioux City Heelan (13-0) in 3A, Hull Western Christian (13-1) in 2A and Iowa Mennonite (13-0) in 1A.


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