Tuesday, March 31, 2020
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Jim Ecker, President & Editor

Metro Sports Report

Mahmens picks UM-Duluth

Linn-Mar senior Mac Mahmens has accepted a scholarship to play football at the University of Minnesota-Duluth, which won the NCAA Division II national title this past season with a 15-0 record.

Mahmens visited Minnesota-Duluth this weekend, was offered a scholarship Sunday morning and accepted Sunday afternoon. Certain of his decision, he called one of Duluth's assistant coaches with the news while driving back to Iowa with his father.

"I knew that's the place for me," Mahmens told the Metro Sports Report. "It's awesome up there."

Mahmens is a 6-foot-2, 285-pound lineman who played offensive guard, defensive tackle and defensive end for Linn-Mar this past season. He said Minnesota-Duluth plans to put him in the middle of the offensive line at center, which is where he played for Linn-Mar in 2009.


No reason to wait, Paige commits to UNC

MINNEAPOLIS -- Marcus Paige has been a big fan of the North Carolina basketball program since he was in the second grade, barely big enough to dribble a ball.

Now his dream of playing for the famed Tar Heels will come true.

Paige, a junior at Linn-Mar, announced Saturday he's accepted a scholarship offer from North Carolina Coach Roy Williams and will join the Tar Heels for the 2012-13 school year.

"It's exciting," he said after playing in the Timberwolves Shootout at the Target Center. "There's not really a whole lot of words to describe it, especially when you know it's a dream you've had as a kid. It's just a great feeling."

Ellis Paige, the point guard's father, summed up the family's feelings in one word. "Elated," he said.

Paige had planned to wait until after the 2010-11 high school season to narrow his list of colleges, take more visits and make a decision, but he saw no reason to wait any longer.

"That was the plan, but I always said if something feels right I'm not going to drag it out for no reason," he said. "Things fell into place and it felt right. There's no need to wait."

Paige called Williams with the news Thursday night.

"He was pretty excited," Paige said. "It was good to see him happy that I'm going to be a part of the program in a couple of years."

Williams has a rich history of landing some of Iowa's elite basketball players. He signed Raef LaFrentz and Kirk Hinrich while coaching at Kansas, now he's lured Harrison Barnes and Paige to his new post at North Carolina.

Williams has visited Paige four times in Iowa, and Paige said his relationship with the successful coach was a pivotal factor in his decision.


Pederson perfect, Lions win tourney

Josh Pederson, a 140-pound Linn-Mar Lion, has never bowled a perfect 300 game. But Saturday at the Lion Invitational, he wrestled one.

Pederson separated himself from the entire field by pinning all five of his opponents, including a buzzer-beater in the finals in 5:57 to lead the Linn-Mar Lions over the Bobcats of Western Dubuque, 55-18.

“It feels great," said Pederson. “I just came out trying not to force my shots, stay patient, and it came to me.”


Lions hit the Target

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Linn-Mar Lions enjoy playing basketball at the Target Center in downtown Minneapolis.

The top-ranked Lions won their fourth straight game in the Timberwolves Shootout Saturday night with an 81-35 cakewalk by an injury-depleted squad from Apple Valley, Minn.

Linn-Mar (9-0) won games here in 2006, 2007 and 2010 before prevailing again Saturday.

"For some reason we've always felt comfortable on this floor and in this arena," Linn-Coach Chris Robertson remarked. "It's been a fun trip for our guys. We've never lost here, so we like to come."


Warriors on Target, too

MINNEAPOLIS -- Cedar Rapids Washington Coach Brad Metzger has been looking for a boost from his bench players all season. Oddly enough, he found it in Minneapolis.

David Tann and Trent Hoekstra gave the Warriors a lift in the first half Saturday night and the Warriors clipped Chaska, 59-55, at the Timberwolves Shootout in the Target Center.

Tann and Hoekstra combined for nine points -- two more than they'd scored all season -- as Washington beat the ninth-ranked Class 4A team in Minnesota.

Hoekstra, who hadn't scored a point all year, made two big baskets for four points.


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