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DES MOINES — Capsules on Monday’s games at the boys’ state basketball tournament at Wells Fargo Arena:
No. 1 North Linn (25-0) vs. Maple Valley-Anthon-Oto (18-7)
Time: 12:15 p.m.
Coaches: Mike and Bob Hilmer are in their second year as co-head coaches at North Linn. Mike Hilmer is in his 18th year at North Linn (251-134) and has a career record of 336-232 in 26 years overall. Bob Hilmer is Iowa’s all-time winningest head coach (835-344 in 54 seasons). Brian Brown is in his 25th year overall and is 320-208 at MVAO and West Monona. His record at MVAO is 238-122.
Tournament history: This is North Linn’s third state tournament appearance, its first since 1977, when the Lynx finished third in Class 1A. They also qualified in 1976. Maple Valley was a qualifier five times. As combined Maple Valley-Anthon-Oto, this will be the Rams’ fourth trip. That includes a runner-up finish in 1A in 2015.
Synopsis: Top-seeded North Linn is one of three remaining undefeated teams (Remsen St. Mary's in 1A and West Delaware in Class 3A is the others). The Lynx have beaten their opponents by a stunning 41.6-point average. Sophomore point guard Jake Hilmer leads the state with 254 assists and is on pace to become the state’s all-time career leader in that statistic. He also leads the Lynx in scoring average (21.7), with junior guard Ryan Miller 19.0) and sophomore guard David Seber (15.8) next. North Linn has no seniors on its roster. Three of eighth-seeded Maple Valley/A-O’s losses were to Class 2A teams, with another to 3A Denison-Schleswig. Six-foot-three junior forward Colby Seuntjens leads the Rams in scoring (18.5 ppg), is third in rebounds and tied for the team lead in assists. Six-foot-four senior center Juan Delagarza averages 13.7 points and 6.4 rebounds.
Johnson says: This is not any old ordinary 1-8 matchup, as MVAO has played a much tougher schedule than North Linn. How will the Lynx and their three sophomore starters respond to the bright lights of Des Moines? How will MVAO respond to North Linn’s pressure defense and uptempo offense? It won’t be easy, but the top-ranked, top-seeded Lynx will prevail.
No. 8 Cascade (22-2) vs. Camanche (22-2)
Time: 8:15 p.m.
Coaches: Jacob Brindle is in his first season as head coach at Cascade, after serving a 14-year stint as an assistant under legendary Al Marshall. Josh Davis is in his second season at Camanche, where he is 39-8. The Clinton native’s other head coaching experience came at Clinton Community College.
Tournament history: This is the ninth trip overall and the fourth in a row for Cascaade, which was 2A runner-up to Western Christian last season. The Cougars finished fourth in 1998 and 2014 and third in 2001. This is the third appearance at state for Camanche. The Indians qualified in 1971 and were second in 1985.
Synopsis: It’s that old cliche about being able to beat an equal team three times in a season. Fourth-seeded Cascade won both regular-season games: 66-58 and 60-54. Those are fifth-seeded Camanche’s lone losses. These are balanced clubs offensively, with each having four starters who average double-figure points. Cascade is led by 6-3 sophomore Johnny Supple (11.7), though junior guard Gannon O’Brien (11.6) and sophomore Harris Hoffman (11.3) are right behind him in scoring. Camanche senior forward Dakota Soenksen averages 18.7 points and leads the Indians in 3-pointers made. Senior Dylan Hundley averages a double-double of 15.9 points and 11.2 rebounds per game.
Johnson says: Controlling tempo will tell who is more likely to win this game. Camanche wants to push the ball, as its 76-point scoring average indicates. Cascade averages just 55.3 points per game, which shows you it prefers a half-court game. This really seems to be a coin-flip game. Tails it is, so Cascade wins.
Class 1A quarterfinal: No. 2 Gladbrook-Reinbeck (24-2) vs. No. 6 Lynnville-Sully (24-1), 10:30 a.m.
Class 1A quarterfinal: No. 3 Remsen St. Mary’s (24-0) vs. New London (21-3), 2 p.m.
Class 1A quarterfinal: No. 5 Grand View Christian (24-1) vs. West Hancock (19-6), 3:45 p.m.
Class 2A quarterfinal: No. 1 Western Christian (21-2) vs. No. 5 South Hamilton (22-2), 6:35 p.m.
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