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DES MOINES — If you are watching Iowa high school boys' state basketball tournament games this week, you'll notice a change. A pretty significant one.
'Media' timeouts are being taken twice in each quarter, eight total. Previously that had been done only in championship games.
It's so the Iowa High School Sports Network can get its commercials in. The IHSSN is providing free live streaming of the entire tournament.
Does it change the flow of games? Definitely.
'It's difficult,' said North Linn guard Austin Hilmer. 'Especially because we are a running team, we try and get teams tired. All the timeouts, all the pauses were a struggle for us. We just like to keep things going. We just had to play through that and focus.'
Monday's tourney opener between North Linn and South Winneshiek was tedious at times because of the extra timeouts and play being halted numerous times because of clock and scoreboard malfunctions.
If there is anyone who should be used to the media timeouts, it's North Linn because the Lynx have been in championship games three years in a row. Coach Mike Hilmer said in this case, he really didn't mind all of the delays, believe it or not.
'We talked about that coming back (here),' he said. 'I knew there were going to be some media timeouts, and the breaks would be a little bit longer. We said with all of our injuries and stuff, we're usually seven or eight (players) deep, but we've really been five or six. Our kids have been tired because of practice, we only have five or six who rotate, a couple are sitting out. Cade Haughenbury, give that kid a crap load of credit, of props because that kid did not play or practice all week. We've just been trying to get him healthy.
'I think it almost helped us because we could keep our intensity without losing our wits about us.'
Blake Moen's special week
The last few days have been really something for Blake Moen.
Not only did he coach his team to the state tournament and in a 1A quarterfinal Monday morning against North Linn. His wife, Sarah, gave birth to a baby boy.
Mathew Phillip Moen was born March 2.
'On a professional level, I'm just so proud right now that we got to play in this arena, in this atmosphere,' Moen said. 'On a personal level, my son, I don't know if he's awake right now or not. He could be, he could be watching. I'm just so happy. I'm excited to go home and see my little boy. My wife, Sarah, has just been phenomenal. They talk about how your counterpart has to be really close and really supportive of everything going on. She has been. She's been a rock star, one of the best, and I just really appreciate that. I just can't wait to go home and see them.'
Grand View features 7-footer Daniel Tobiloba
Grand View Christian weaved its way to the semifinals with a 54-49 win over Remsen St. Mary's. The Thunder won three consecutive 1A state championships in 2017, 2018 and 2019.
You might remember Grand View beating North Linn in the 2018 finals and Alburnett in the 2019 finals thanks in part to a pair of tall imports, if you will, from Mali. Issa Samake plays at Drake now.
This year's tall import is 7-footer Daniel Tobiloba, a native of Nigeria who is just a sophomore and played for Grand View last season as a freshman. He totaled 11 points, 18 rebounds and seven blocked shots against the Hawks. He came into this tournament averaging 10.3 points, 15.9 rebounds and five blocks per game.
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