Tuesday, February 18, 2020
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Jim Ecker, President & Editor

Metro Sports Report

Lions took on and beat all foes

DES MOINES -- The Linn-Mar Lions won basketball games this season in Minneapolis and LaCrosse, Iowa City and Waterloo, Cedar Rapids and Marion, Waukee and ultimately Des Moines.

They won them all, and they won most of them convincingly. Twenty-six games and 26 victories, and they won them all by an average of 22 points per game.

Linn-Mar High School is the king of Class 4A basketball again this year. The coronation came Saturday night at Wells Fargo Arena, where the Lions beat Des Moines Hoover, 56-42, for the title.

The entire season belonged to Linn-Mar, which began the season as the No.1 team in the polls and ended the year with a glittery piece of hardware for its blossoming trophy case back home.

This makes four state titles for Linn-Mar and three in the past eight seasons, making the word "dynasty" an apt description for Coach Chris Robertson's program. Robertson was an assistant coach when the Lions captured the state crown in 2004, but he won his own title in 2007 and now has another.


Dunn wins twice at Demon indoor

IOWA CITY -- Jake Redlinger of Washington, Iowa, and Alec Clasen of Xavier both cleared 6-foot-6 in the high jump at the Demon Indoor track meet Saturday at the Iowa City Rec Center.

Redlinger was awarded first place in the event on fewer misses.

Kyle Dunn of Linn-Mar won the 60-meter high hurdles in 7.75 seconds and also helped the Lions win the 1600 relay. Brandon Ophoff of Linn-Mar placed third in the 60 hurdles in 7.9 seconds and ran the anchor leg on the 1600 relay.


Morrissey appears to be new Prairie grid coach

There were strong indications Thursday that former Upper Iowa University quarterback Mike Morrissey will be the next head football coach at Cedar Rapids Prairie.

Morrissey, 28, was the head coach at Thornridge High School in Dolton, Ill., this past season.

"I can't really confirm anything now," Morrisey said Thursday afternoon.  He said he will be in Cedar Rapids on Friday.


Paige, Bohannon lead Lions into title tilt

DES MOINES -- Marcus Paige and Matt Bohannon were impressionable middle schoolers when Linn-Mar won the Class 4A state basketball title in 2007 for the second time in four years.

Now wily upper classmen, they'll have a chance to cement Linn-Mar's place in state history Saturday night when they play for the 2011 championship at Wells Fargo Arena.

Another title would give Linn-Mar three state crowns in eight years, the stuff of dynasties.

Paige scored 23 points Friday afternoon and Bohannon netted 19 as the top-ranked Lions handled No.4 Iowa City West, 63-48, in the topsy-turvy semifinals.

Linn-Mar will put its perfect 25-0 record on the line against No.3 Des Moines Hoover (23-2) Saturday night at 8:05 for the title.


This year's team is Linn-Mar's best

I'd like to offer a few reflections on my attendance at the boys state basketball tournament in Des Moines on Wednesday.

Linn-Mar's performance in the quarterfinals against Cedar Rapids Washington was about as good as it gets for the Lions. They came in No.1, unbeaten, and played like No.1.

Already, their legacy in tournament history is the talk of the state tournament, Roy Williams excluded. And I would like to add to that thought with a few comments.

When the whole story is written, I think this year's Linn-Mar team will stack up as not one of the best, but THE best that Linn-Mar has had. Why do I say that?

Number 1, it's the team concept, even though Linn-Mar has its star attractions. The thing that has impressed me during the regular season and in the tournament is the Lions' ability to score in bunches and to jump on teams early.

Oh yes, you can say it's Matt Bohannon, it's Marcus Paige, it's the organization and the coaching, but the thing I'll remember about this team is the way they pass the basketball and attack.

In the quarterfinals against Washington, they had at least two plays off the fast break that went the full length of the court, and the passing was so good that the ball never touched the floor.

That is extraordinary, and in the main this year's team has answered to extraordinary.


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