Prep Basketball

Linn-Mar playing well at right time of season, rolls past Cedar Rapids Jefferson, 80-60

Linn-Mar Lions
Linn-Mar Lions

CEDAR RAPIDS — They’ve waited all season for a win streak, and the Linn-Mar Lions have got one. At the exact perfect time.

An 80-60 win Monday night at Cedar Rapids Jefferson in Class 4A substate quarterfinal means it’s four consecutive victories for the Lions. They hadn’t won more than two in a row until taking their final three regular-season games and now this one.

Linn-Mar (12-11) plays a substate semifinal Friday night at No. 6 Pleasant Valley (19-2). You can feel their confidence at this point.

“It’s been pretty frustrating,” said guard Jacob Robertson. “It felt like one step forward, one step back in the middle of the season. Then we got caught losing a few. Now just getting that win streak is huge. Yes, I think we’re playing some of our best basketball right now. It’s the best time to do it.”

You can’t shoot it much better than the Lions did in this one. They were 71 percent from the field, 7 of 9 from 3-point land and 29 of 35 from the free-throw line.

Junior forward Trey Hutcheson got his as he usually does, scoring a team-high 20 points. But he was nowhere near the lone ranger.

Robertson had 15 points, as did Cole Martin off the bench. That was a career high for the senior guard, who made all three of his triples.

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Center Nate Annis added 10 points, six over his average. Nine guys were in Linn-Mar’s playing rotation, and they all scored.

“Getting it in the paint, then kicking it back out,” Martin said. “Getting open looks and momentum throughout the game. We got up, like, 10 points and just kept on going.”

“I thought early our possessions were really good,” said Coach Chris Robertson. “We moved the ball, got it going side to side, made some shots, the guys got some confidence going. I thought that was the key. Sometimes we haven’t always done that. We shoot it quick, don’t get everybody going.”

The Lions also did a very nice job against Jefferson’s spread-court attack. The J-Hawks (9-13) could just never seem to get a run going, and some of that had to do with their inability to get anything on the offensive glass.

Willie Guy III and Kyler Bell had 15 points each and Ryan Blum 10 for Jeff, which beat Linn-Mar late in the regular season by a point.

“They had the advantage on both ends,” said Jefferson Coach Brandon Horman. “The way they played tonight was the way they are fully capable of playing. They dictated on both offense and defense.”

“If we can get it going, and we’re playing well, we’re pretty good,” Coach Robertson said. “We’ve just had stretches where we didn’t play well enough.”

That appears to be a thing of the past.

AT CEDAR RAPIDS JEFFERSON

LINN-MAR (80): Jaren Nelson 2-2 0-0 5, Trey Hutcheson 4-6 11-12 20, Nate Annis 2-4 6-8 10, Jacob Robertson 6-8 1-1 15, Nolan Ruff 1-2 2-2 4, Cole Martin 4-4 4-4 15, Jack Gertsen 1-1 0-0 2, Greg Hall 0-1 3-4 3, Hayden Passmore 1-2 0-0 2, Garrett Friday 0-0 2-4 2, Tyler Oberbroeckling 0-0 0-0 0, Cam Nelson 1-1 0-0 2, John Steffen 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 22-31 29-35 80.

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C.R. JEFFERSON (60): Kyler Bell 3-13 6-7 15, Kyran Ligon 1-4 2-4 4, T.J. Kuennen 0-3 0-0 0, Willie Guy III 5-15 3-4 15, Ozzie Meiborg 3-9 0-0 5, Blaze Bouzek 1-5 0-0 3, Raejzuan Shockley 1-1 0-0 2, Ryan Blum 4-5 2-2 10, Brayden Frazier 0-1 0-0 0, Zachary Grant 1-2 0-0 2, Jetmir Zeneli 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 19-58 13-17 60.

Halftime — Linn-Mar 35, C.R. Jefferson 24. 3-point goals — Linn-Mar 7-9 (J. Nelson 1-1, Hutcheson 1-2, Robertson 2-3, Martin 3-3), C.R. Jefferson 9-28 (Bell 3-7, Kuennen 0-2, Guy 2-6, Meiborg 3-5, Bouzek 1-5, Blum 0-1, Frazier 0-1, Grant 0-1. Rebounds — Linn-Mar 29 (Hutcheson 10), C.R. Jefferson 21 (Bell 4). Total fouls — Linn-Mar 16, C.R. Jefferson 25. Fouled out — Hall, Bell. Turnovers — Linn-Mar 17, C.R. Jefferson 10.

l Comments: (319) 398-8259; jeff.johnson@thegazette.com

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