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Thursday, November 23, 2017
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Metro Sports Report

Linn-Mar boys on memorable ride

LA CROSSE, Wis. -- The Linn-Mar Lions hope their path to the Class 4A state championship in Iowa runs through Minnesota and Wisconsin.

Coach Chris Robertson and the top-ranked Lions drubbed Apple Valley (Minn.) in Minneapolis last weekend, then hopped on the bus again Saturday and clipped Madison Memorial (Wis.) in La Crosse.

First they played at the Target Center, an NBA arena, then they played at the La Crosse Center, another big venue. First the Timberwolves Shootout, then the Midwest Players Classic.

That's on top of their rugged 16-game schedule in the Mississippi Valley Conference, a date at the U.S. Cellular Center and other tough non-conference games.

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No. 1 Lions flex muscles in Wisconsin

LA CROSSE, Wis. -- The best high school basketball team in Iowa might be the best team in Wisconsin, too.

They play for Linn-Mar.

The Lions left Iowa and beat one of the best teams in Wisconsin on Saturday night with a 74-64 victory over Madison Memorial in the Midwest Players Classic at the La Crosse Center.

Linn-Mar (12-0), ranked No. 1 in Iowa, proved to be too polished, too balanced and too good for Madison Memorial, which is ranked No. 3 among the big schools in Wisconsin.

Marcus Paige and Josh Montague scored 21 points apiece, Matt Bohannon collected 16 and Shane Benton added 12 in a wire-to-victory for the Lions, who never trailed.

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Conner Herman wins J-Hawk title

Ask Conner Herman about his sixth place finish in last year’s state tournament and he’ll tell you that wasn’t the plan.

“Sixth place is not where I had my goals set," Herman said.

Herman got a measure of payback Saturday against top-ranked and undefeated Joe Scanlan of Johnston. Herman defeated Scanlan last year en route to the state semifinals, but Scanlan ended up fourth and Herman sixth.

“I beat him last year but he came back further in the wrestle-backs than I did,” Herman said.

In a tough field of 13 teams that boasted second ranked Waverly-Shell Rock, the Herman-Scanlan bout was the only match that featured the Nos. 1 and 2 ranked wrestlers in Class 3A.

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Kennedy cops Prairie Baker meet

Kennedy battled back through the losers' bracket, winning seven straight matches, and won the Prairie Invitational Baker bowling tournament Saturday at Lancer Lanes.

The Cougars were beaten by Jefferson in the first round, then fought back through and beat the J-Hawks in the losers' bracket final. Kennedy then beat Washington twice to win the championship.

Washington was second, followed by Jefferson and Marion. All seven Metro teams competed.

The tournament used a Baker format. All five bowlers from each team shot alternate frames. The bowler who rolled the first frame also rolled the sixth, second rolled the seventh, etc. The format also included best-of-3 matches in a ladder format.

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Jet-setting Williams checks in on Paige

North Carolina basketball coach Roy Williams has two private jets at his disposal so he can fly around the country, visit with recruits and spread goodwill.

That's what he did Friday.

Williams flew to Iowa to watch Marcus Paige star for the Linn-Mar Lions on Friday night against the Washington Warriors.

"We have two planes," Williams said during a halftime interview at the Washington gym. "We didn't practice today, so we just flew in and we'll fly back tonight."

Paige, a sensational 6-foot-1 point guard, committed to North Carolina last week and enjoyed seeing his future coach in the Washington gym. He hit four 3-pointers and scored 19 points as the top-ranked Lions belted Washington, 80-55.

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