Sunday, December 16, 2018
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Jim Ecker, President & Editor

Metro Sports Report

Lions face stingy Hoover for title

DES MOINES -- The Linn-Mar Lions will face one of the stingiest high school basketball teams in Iowa Saturday night when they meet Des Moines Hoover in the finals of the Class 4A state tournament.

Tipoff at Wells Fargo Arena is scheduled for 8:05 p.m.

Hoover (23-2) allowed an average of just 35.6 points per game during the regular season and prides itself on defense. Linn-Mar, meanwhile, has two of the top weapons in the state tournament and averages a healthy 69.2 points for the campaign.

Matt Bohannon has averaged 25.5 points in Linn-Mar's victories in the first two rounds of the state tournament and Marcus Paige has been producing 18.5 points, making them Target A and Target B for the Huskies in the finals.

"We look forward to the challenge," Hoover Coach Courtney Henderson said Friday. "They have a heck of a ballclub, they have a heck of a tradition. They're one of the best programs in the state."

Linn-Mar (25-0) is seeking its third state title in eight years, but points could be hard to come by. Hoover held nine teams to under 30 points this season, including just 18 by Des Moines Lincoln.


Stokes named Iowa's top player by Gatorade

CHICAGO -- Linn-Mar senior Kiah Stokes has been named the 2010-11 Gatorade Iowa Girls Basketball Player of the Year.  She also won the award last year.

Stokes now is eligible for the Gatorade national player of the year honor that will be announced later this month.

Stokes was named Miss Iowa Basketball earlier this week and is a consensus first team all-state pick. She averaged 25 points, 14.9 rebounds and 5.6 blocked shots this season and finished her career as Iowa's all-time shot blocker with 515.  She also is No. 4 on the state's all-time rebounding list with 1,239 and she scored 1,704 career points. She will play in the McDonald's All-American Game and Women's Basketball Coaches Association All-America Game.

Stokes also has signed a letter of intent to play basketball on scholarship at two-time defending NCAA champion Connecticut.

Stokes is the second Linn-Mar player to win the Gatorade honor in the 26 years it has been awarded. Jamie Printy won the award in 2008-09 and has quickly established herself as one of the top players in the Big Ten as a guard at Iowa.  Iowa City High's Kelly Krei, also an Iowa standout, won the award in 2007-08.



Lions roll into semis behind Bohannon's 32

DES MOINES -- Jason Bohannon helped Linn-Mar win the Class 4A state basketball title in 2004 and Zach Bohannon got his state crown with the Lions in 2007.

Now Matt Bohannon wants his.

Bohannon fired in a career-best 32 points Wednesday afternoon as No.1 Linn-Mar hammered Cedar Rapids Washington, 71-54, in the quarterfinals of the 4A state tournament at Wells Fargo Arena.

Bohannon destroyed the Warriors with 24 points in the first half, hitting his first six shots and 10 of 11 overall with a sensational display on the big stage.

"He was terrific," said Linn-Mar Coach Chris Robertson. "I don't know if I've seen a better first half down here in a long time.


Lions facing different Iowa City West team

DES MOINES -- Iowa City West Coach Steve Bergman was not a happy guy two months ago after the Trojans lost back-to-back games to Cedar Rapids Washington and Cedar Rapids Jefferson.

In the first game, Wes Washpun banked in a 3-pointer at the buzzer to give Washington a 54-52 victory. Four days later, West lost to Jefferson in double-overtime after Jarrod Uthoff saved the J-Hawks in the final seconds of regulation with an off-balance 3-pointer.

Those two losses -- both in Cedar Rapids -- dropped Iowa City West to 4-4, but something very interesting has happened to the Trojans since then. They have not lost again.

Iowa City West (20-4) will face No.1 Linn-Mar (24-0) in the semifinals of the Class 4A state tournament Friday afternoon at 1:30 at Wells Fargo Arena.

Ankeny (20-4) will meet Des Moines Hoover (22-2) in the other semifinal at 3:15 p.m. Friday. The championship game is scheduled for Saturday night at 8:05.

Iowa City West has won 16 straight games. If the Trojans win their 17th straight on Friday, it would vault the fourth-ranked Trojans into the state finals.


Ugly, ugly, ugly loss for J-Hawks

DES MOINES - Cedar Rapids Jefferson picked the wrong time for an ugly date with futility.

The J-Hawks scored only 16 points in the first three quarters Wednesday night and lost to Des Moines Hoover, 45-39, in the opening round of the Class 4A state tournament at Wells Fargo Arena.

Jarrod Uthoff was the only Jefferson player to make a field goal during the first three quarters of the game. He had 15 points after three quarters and the rest of the J-Hawks had one lonely, solitary point after 24 minutes of basketball.

Jefferson scored 23 points in the fourth period, thanks partly to three 3-pointers by sophomore Creighton Robinson, but the J-Hawks never managed to catch up. Robinson, listed generously at 5-foot-10, was playing in only his third varsity game and hadn't scored a point prior to the state tournament.

Jefferson Coach Stu Ordman turned the game into a free throw contest in the fourth quarter, knowing Hoover was a weak foul shooting team at 60.9 percent, but the Huskies made 17 of 29 free throws in the final period to stay ahead.

The eighth-ranked J-Hawks (17-6) shot 11 for 45 from the field (24.4 percent) and lost in the first round of the state tournament for the second straight year. Uthoff finished his prep career with 20 points and 10 rebounds, but hit only 6 of 16 shots and was 0-for-3 on 3-pointers.


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