Prep Basketball

Dike-New Hartford shocks No. 1 North Linn, 64-53

Wolverines make state for first time in 30 years

JESUP — Bruce Dall credited luck, among other things.

Brian Wheatley, on the other hand, had no answers at all.

“I wish I did,” he said. “We made mistakes we usually don’t make. We were really tight.”

Top-ranked North Linn brought far less than its “A” game Monday night, and No. 9 Dike-New Hartford capitalized, shocking the Lynx, 64-53, in a Class 2A girls’ basketball regional final at Jesup High School.

Sophomores Ellie Foster (22 points) and Morgan Weber (18 points, 14 rebounds) were the two best players on the floor as Dike-New Hartford (23-2) advanced to the state tournament for the first time as a five-player program (Dike won a six-on-six championship in 1988).

Strictly a volleyball school? Not any more.

“To beat the No. 1 team in the state — and one of the best teams in any class — you’ve got to have a little luck,” said Dall, who coached Ackley AGWSR to a 1A state title in 2009. “But I thought with our hard work, we made our own luck. And everything went right for us.”

Because of two 2A regional-final postponements Monday, the state pairings won’t be revealed until Wednesday night.

The Wolverines will face an opponent to be determined in a quarterfinal the evening of Feb. 27 or the morning of Feb. 28 at Wells Fargo Arena, Des Moines.

North Linn closed, broken-heartedly, at 23-1.

“One of the toughest losses I’ve had here,” Wheatley said. “These kids wanted to keep going. I feel bad it didn’t happen for them.”

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Here’s why it didn’t: North Linn shot 13 of 26 from the free-throw line, got outrebounded 40-32 and committed 13 second-half turnovers.

Down 10 points near the end of the third quarter, the Lynx rallied within 47-46 when Grace Flanagan made two free throws with 3:48 to play. But the Wolverines scored the next five points, and smothered the comeback bid.

“We had to keep cool and stay calm and not let them get on any big runs,” Weber said.

It all started well enough for the Lynx, who shot to an 8-0 lead. But the free throws didn’t fall, and fouls mounted on senior post Ashley Tull, who picked up three personals in the first half and was whistled for her fourth less than two minutes into the third quarter with the Lynx holding a 23-22 edge. She managed just seven points.

Emma Ware led the Lynx with 13 points. Flanagan added 12, and Abby Flanagan tallied 11.

DIKE-NEW HARTFORD 64, NORTH LINN 53

Class 2A Regional Final, at Jesup

DIKE-NEW HARTFORD (64): Ellie Foster 7-12 5-6 22, Sydney Petersen 3-9 3-6 9, Baylee Petersen 4-6 3-4 11, Morgan Weber 4-9 10-11 18, Katie Knock 1-12 0-0 2, Allie Aalderks 0-1 0-0 0, Carlee Dove 1-2 0-0 2, Jill Eilderts 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 20-51 21-27 64.

NORTH LINN (53): Grace Flanagan 4-15 3-3 12, Abby Flanagan 5-9 0-0 11, Anna LeGrand 2-6 4-6 8, Ashley Tull 2-7 2-7 7, Emma Ware 5-7 2-4 13, Kylie Kurt 0-4 2-4 2, Sydney Burke 0-2 0-0 0, Hannah Bridgewater 0-0 0-2 0. Totals 18-50 13-26 53.

Halftime: North Linn 17, DNH 16. 3-point goals: DNH 3-17 (Foster 3-6, S.Petersen 0-3, Weber 0-1, Knock 0-7), North Linn 4-17 (G.Flanagan 1-6, A.Flanagan 1-3, LeGrand 0-2, Tull 1-1, Ware 1-1, Kurt 0-3, Burke 0-1). Team fouls: DNH 18, North Linn 21. Fouled out: A.Flanagan. Rebounds: DNH 40 (Weber 14), North Linn 32 (G.Flanagan, Tull 6). Assists: DNH 5 (Foster 2), North Linn 11 (G.Flanagan 5). Steals: DNH 10 (B.Petersen 3), North Linn 12 (A.Flanagan 4). Turnovers: DNH 17, North Linn 17.

l Comments: (319) 368-8857; jeff.linder@thegazette.com

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