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Unselfish Lions make substate finals

The mantra heard over and over in practice the past week obviously got into the heads of the Linn-Mar boys basketball players.

"Ball movement, ball movement, ball movement,” explained Lions sharpshooter Jared Printy. “That’s what the coaches preached, and that was the game plan. Move the ball and find the open guy.”

They performed it to perfection Friday night on their home court in a 79-63 Class 4A substate semifinal win over Waterloo East.

Riding an eight-game winning streak, the 10th-ranked Lions (17-5) will face No. 7 Cedar Falls (18-4) at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at the U.S. Cellular Center in the Substate 3 final.

By flipping the ball in and out and from side to side, the Lions were like pinball wizards.

In the opening four minutes alone, their passing magic resulted in four wide-open 3-pointers and a 12-2 lead that immediately set the Trojans back on their heels. Shooting from one corner and then the other, Jordan Bohannon popped one in, Riley Murphy hit two in a row and Printy followed suit.

“That was the idea, to find the shooters,” said emerging superstar Beau Klostermann. “And we’ve got a lot of shooters.”

With 24 of their first-half points coming from eight 3-pointers, the Lions were able to withstand a second-quarter surge by Waterloo East and still maintain a 36-29 lead at intermission.

After being down 29-8 at one point, the Trojans (12-12) put on a 21-7 run and closed the half with eight straight points.

"They’re a tough, resilient team,” Printy pointed out. “We figured they’d punch back. But we were able to hold them off.”

When the senior transfer from Washington drilled his fifth 3-pointer early in the third quarter, it put the Lions up by 10 and East seemed to run out steam.

Thanks to some long-range bombs by 5-foot-8 guard Averee Clark (whose 15 points all came from behind the arc) and the inside muscle of 6-foot-6 Isaiah Wade, Waterloo did close the gap to as few as eight points. But after Wade stole a pass and proceeded to slam a sure dunk high off the rim at the 2:00 minute mark in the game, it was all but over.

“He’s a load,” Linn-Mar coach Chris Robertson said of the behemoth Trojan center who scored 14 of his team-high 18 points in the second half. “But I thought we doubled him pretty well.”

Bohannon, who had a quiet night with just two field goals, closed out the contest with six straight free throws and finished with 18 points (including 13 of 13 from the line). Printy ended up with 23 points and Klostermann had 21. Both, however, credited their normally high-scoring teammate with igniting the offense.

“Jordan was penetrating and kicking the ball out,” Klostermann said.“That’s why we had so many wide-open shots.”

For his part, Bohannon was happy to share the ball.

“We kind of knew they’d try to front me,” Bohannon said of the 1-3-1 zone defense Waterloo used in a concerted effort to stop him. “But Beau and Jared both had big games. And I thought our whole team played with a lot of energy tonight.”

Robertson, too, was pleased with his team’s performance.

“I think we’re playing our best basketball of the season right now,” he said. “Our guys are really unselfish.

“We moved the ball tonight, made that extra pass and found the guys that were open. Of course it helps when they make the shots.”

WATERLOO EAST (63): Gafeney 4 0-0 9, J.Clark 0 0-0 0, Nickelson 6 2-5 15, Sanders 0 0-0 0, Wade 9 0-2 18, A.Clark 5 0-0 15, Reed 0 0-0 0, Phillips 0 0-0 0, Matlock 2 0-0 6, Garrey 0 0-0 0. Totals 26 2-7 63.

LINN-MAR (79): Printy 9 0-0 23, Murphy 2 0-0 6, Bohannon 2 13-13 18, Klostermann 8 3-4 21, Brandt 1 2-3 5, Phillips 2 0-0 4, Voves 1 0-0 2. Totals 25 18-20 79.

Halftime – Linn-Mar 36, Waterloo East 29. 3-point goals – Waterloo East 9 (A.Clark 5, Matlock 2, Gafeney, Nickelson), Linn-Mar 11 (Printy 5, Murphy 2, Klostermann 2, Bohannon, Brandt).

Last Updated ( Saturday, 27 February 2016 00:11 )  

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