Prep Basketball

Doing North Linn things: 2nd-ranked Lynx roll past Maquoketa Valley, 88-20

North Linn's Jake Hilmer. (Rebecca F. Miller/The Gazette)
North Linn's Jake Hilmer. (Rebecca F. Miller/The Gazette)

CEDAR RAPIDS — You’ve got to have a lot of internal motivation if you are the North Linn Lynx.

They know they’re better than every other team in the Tri-Rivers Conference, and by a ways. You’ve seen some of the point spreads these guys have had this boys’ basketball season.

Getting ready to play each and every night must be sort of difficult when you know you are going to win.

“I think we’ve got a group of guys who really want to prove they’re as good as people say,” said North Linn’s Jake Hilmer, after his Class 1A second-ranked team destroyed short-handed Maquoketa Valley, 88-20, as part of the Wells Fargo Advisors Shootout on Saturday afternoon at the U.S. Cellular Center. “We kind of come out with a chip on our shoulder. It’s hard to believe. You probably think ‘Aw these guys lack motivation.’ Another part of it is it’s our last go-around with these seniors. We only have a handful of games left to play with them. We’ve been playing with them for years ... You kind of want to cherish the moments.”

This particular moment included a 24-0 run to start the game. Trevor Elgin splashed a 3-pointer to give Maquoketa Valley (3-11) its first points with 2:15 left in the first quarter.

The Wildcats were short-handed because of injuries, not an ideal situation to have against anyone, let alone North Linn (15-0). The Lynx are on pace to break a state record for highest points average.

It’s 93.3 after this one. That’s because it presses you full court, turns you over, runs and shoots it from distance.

“We knew here that we had a lot of people watching us that maybe haven’t seen us play and are questioning that whole run-up-the-score thing,” said North Linn’s Ryan Miller. “So we knew that we needed to come out and show everybody what we’re made of, that we’re not just out here running up the score. That we’re good, too.”

Miller, the senior guard, led his team with 24 points. Junior point guard Hilmer had 13 points, 12 assists and six steals.

He leads the state in both of those latter categories. North Linn called off its press after the first quarter, and its starting five of Miller, Hilmer, David Seber, Trevor Boge and Adam Waskow played only at the very beginning stages of the third quarter.

“Motivation with these guys, I’ll be honest, we’ve tried to teach these guys since they were young that any team can beat you on any given night,” said North Linn Co-Coach Mike Hilmer. “So we get ready to play, go through a scouting report. ... We don’t go into any game thinking it’s going to be a (blowout). Maybe that’s one of the reasons they turn out that way.”


NORTH LINN (88): Trevor Boge 4-6 0-0 9, Adam Waskow 3-5 0-3 9, David Seber 4-10 0-0 11, Jake Hilmer 6-6 0-0 13, Ryan Miller 10-13 2-3 24, Austin Miller 1-2 0-0 3, Brad Pflughaupt 4-7 0-0 10, Josh Smith 2-3 0-0 4, Sean Boardman 2-5 0-1 5, Carter Johnson 0-0 0-0. Totals 36-58 5-8 86.

MAQUOKETA VALLEY (20): Cole Willenbring 2-6 0-0 6, Blake Becker 0-2 0-0 0, Brian Heims 0-1 0-2 0, Trevor Elgin 3-9 1-1 8, Heath Gibbs 1-3 0-0 2, Brenden Hogan 0-1 0-0 0, Tyson Tucker 2-6 0-0 4, Jon Seibert 0-1 0-0 0, Daniel Hunter 0-0 0-0 0, Adam Goedken 0-1 0-2 0. Totals 8-30 1-5 20.

Halftime — North Linn 61, Maquoketa Valley 11. 3-point goals — North Linn 11-23 (A. Miller 1-1, Hilmer 1-1, Pflughaupt 2-5, Seber 3-7, R. Miller 2-3, Boge 1-2, Boardman 1-4), Maquoketa Valley 3-13 (Tucker 0-1, Willenbring 2-5, Elgin 1-6, Seibert 0-1). Rebounds — North Linn 22 (R. Miller 7), Maquoketa Valley 13 (Tucker 4). Total fouls — North Linn 10, Maquoketa Valley 11. Fouled out — None. Assists — North Linn 23 (Hilmer 12), Maquoketa Valley 3 (Tucker, Becker, Elgin 1). Turnovers — North Linn 5, Maquoketa Valley 19.

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