DES MOINES — The winning isn’t going to stop.
Friday afternoon was a disappointing setback for the North Linn Lynx. No question about it.
But when you’ve got four sophomore starters, and your top couple guys off the bench also are underclassmen, the future, as they say, is so bright you’ve got to wear shades.
Boyden-Hull simply was better in a 64-51 win at Wells Fargo Arena in the Class 2A boys' state championship basketball game. The Comets (24-3), the tourney’s top seed, flipped last year’s title tilt with a balanced offensive attack and superior interior play.
North Linn (26-1) had a 52-game win streak snapped, coming up just shy in an attempt at a repeat. This was the third consecutive year the Lynx played for a championship.
Here’s a scary thought. The school, which has lost just three times in four seasons, is expected to drop back down to Class 1A next season.
“A lot of people didn’t expect us to be here,” said North Linn’s Austin Hilmer. “But we beat some teams we weren’t expected to beat. We gave it our all this game.”
The teams were tied at 20, with Boyden-Hull scoring the final six points of the first half for a 26-20 halftime edge. Hilmer’s driving hoop made it a four-point game to start the second half, but Boyden-Hull essentially put things away from there, leading after three quarters, 47-31.
“It always feels good, especially (beating) a team like that,” said Boyden-Hull’s Tanner Te Slaa. “They’re a very good team. We just played well together. We work hard and just came on top today.”
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Andrew Frick had a team-high 22 points and Te Slaa 21 for the Comets, who won the school’s fourth state championship, its first since 2013. Boyden-Hull held an almost two-to-one edge in points in the paint (38-20).
“You have five guys who played down here last year and play in a big tough league (Siouxland Conference),” said North Linn Co-Coach Mike Hilmer. “We knew there was going to be some physicality. We tried to match it. But I’ll be honest, and I could be wrong, but I thought we looked a little tired from our matchup with Treynor.
"We sold out on that game. We said if we won that game, whatever was left was left. I’m just real proud of our kids. There were a few of you who didn’t have us winning in the first round, and I know most of you didn’t have us winning in the second round. We were proud of our kids for getting here, and whatever happened today, happened.”
The only senior in the starting lineup for North Linn was Austin Miller, and he finished a great season with yet another double-double of 23 points and 11 rebounds. Miller had double-doubles in all three games here and was honored as captain of the 2A all-tournament team.
Hilmer also was selected. He, Gunner Vanourney, Dylan Kurt and Cade Haughenbury were the aforementioned freshman starters, by the way.
“It was a matter of coming down here and playing with some poise and having fun. A great run,” Miller said. “The picture-perfect way (to end it) obviously would have been to win the championship. But (Mike) Hilmer just told us don’t sell ourselves short. This is second best. You are going to play a good team down here. Kudos to Boyden because they played extremely well. Played extremely good defense. They just played better today and came out on top.”
Boyden-Hull 64, North Linn 51
AT DES MOINES
NORTH LINN (51): Gunner Vanourney 0-0 0-0 0, Austin Miller 8-13 7-11 23, Dylan Kurt 3-6 0-0 8, Austin Hilmer 5-18 0-0 12, Cade Haughenbury 0-1 0-0 0, Parker Bechan 0-1 0-0 0, Ben Wheatley 0-1 0-0 0, Kaleb Kurt 2-8 0-0 5, Tate Collum 0-0 0-0 0, Tate Haughenbury 1-1 0-0 3, Jake Kurt 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 19-49 7-11 51.
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BOYDEN-HULL (64): Andrew Frick 9-13 4-6 22, Josh Heitritter 2-4 0-0 6, Tanner Te Slaa 0-1 0-2 0, Keyton Moser 5-9 3-7 13, Marcus Kelderman 1-8 0-0 2, Kody Noble 0-0 0-0 0, Dayton Brunsting 0-0 0-0 0, Cody Van Der Zwaag 0-0 0-0 0, Dylan Miller 0-0 0-0 0, Tanner Lokhorst 0-0 0-0 0, Trai Prachomphonh 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 24-49 12-22 64.
Halftime — Boyden-Hull 26, North Linn 20. 3-point goals — North Linn 9-23 (D. Kurt 2-5, Hilmer 2-10, C. Haughenbury 0-1, Wheatley 0-1, K. Kurt 1-5, T. Haughenbury 1-1), Boyden-Hull 4-13 (Heitritter 2-3, T. Te Slaa 2-3, S. Te Slaa 0-1, Moser 0-2, Kelderman 0-3, Prachomphonh 0-1). Rebounds — Boyden-Hull 34 (T. Te Slaa 9), North Linn 30 (Miller 11). Total fouls — North Linn 19, Boyden-Hull 12. Fouled out — Hilmer, C. Haughenbury. Assists — North Linn 6 (Hilmer, K. Kurt 2), Boyden-Hull 13 (Moser 5).
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