Prep Basketball

Jake Hilmer sets pair of state assists records in North Linn's 1A district semifinal win

North Linn's Jake Hilmer.. (Stephen Mally/The Gazette)
North Linn's Jake Hilmer.. (Stephen Mally/The Gazette)

TROY MILLS — Iowa’s new King of Dish got pulled from Tuesday night’s game a couple of times.

Jake Hilmer went to the bench at one point after a behind-the-back pass sailed out of bounds. Then he was subbed for again awhile later when he drove to the hoop, reverse pivoted and tried to hand the ball off to a teammate instead of score an open layup.

“Shoot the ball!” North Linn Co-Coaches Mike and Bob Hilmer (Jake’s dad and grandpa) shouted in unison at him.

“That’s just part of it,” Jake Hilmer shrugged, after his Class 1A second-ranked Lynx beat up Calamus-Wheatland, 92-37, in a district semifinal. “Emotions are high this time of year. You’ve got to play through everything. It is what it is.”

What it was for North Linn was a 24th consecutive win without a loss and a Thursday night matchup against Lisbon in a district final at Cedar Rapids Kennedy. For junior point guard Hilmer it was two state records.

His 12 assists give him 307 this season, breaking the previous mark of 297 set by Lone Tree’s Jeff Spears in 1999. Hilmer also rocketed past former Fort Dodge St. Edmond prep and Iowa Hawkeyes guard Jack Brownlee for career assists, with 786.

Did you catch the he’s-a-junior part there? He’s got one more full season to add to his total.


“Get it out of the way,” he said. “I told my mom that this morning, that I wanted to do it tonight. I want to celebrate tonight because I want it done with and focus on our tournament run. I don’t want anything else on our minds.”

David Seber scored 23 points and Ryan Miller 21 as North Linn steamrolled another opponent. The Lynx came in averaging 93.4 points, also a single-season state record, and are averaging a staggering point differential of over 58 points per game.

Hilmer, obviously, is the engineer of this insanely fast-paced bunch. Even if he does get into trouble sometimes for not looking for his shot enough.

“It happens a lot,” Mike Hilmer said. “We told him that at tournament time, we don’t want you over-passing, we want you scoring. We’ve told him all year, actually. We’re trying to gear him towards tournament time. It’s just one of those deals. He likes to distribute the ball.”

“It is one stat that I like, because you can score as many points as you want in the gym, but you can’t get assists by yourself,” Jake Hilmer said. “I’ve been fortunate to play with a lot of guys who can score the basketball. It’s been a lot of fun, made it a lot easier.”

Lisbon won the opening game of this doubleheader over Easton Valley, 63-58. The Lions (19-4) broke a 51-51 tie with two minutes left on back-to-back 3-pointers from Hagen Waters and Brett Givens.

Waters had a game-high 27 points, including eight treys, all from about the exact spot on the wing.

“I think we’ve had a great season,” he said. “We’ve played very well as a team. A lot of guys have stepped up. It’s been really good.”


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North Linn won the regular-season encounter between these teams in December, 85-36, but neither Givens nor center Baile Arwine played because of injury.

“I told them ‘You know what, if we’re going to score 100, this would be the game to do it,’” said Lisbon Coach Bill Zywiec. “Because we might need that just to stay close.”


EASTON VALLEY (58): Cam Wilhelm 2-6 0-1 4, Curtis Hartung 1-1 0-0 2, Cooper Kunde 0-4 2-2 2, Nate Trenkamp 7-14 0-1 18, Cade Jargo 5-12 0-0 15, Hunter Horst 3-6 0-0 6, Logan Miller 3-15 0-0 6, Keegan Blake 2-3 1-2 5. Totals 23-61 3-6 58.

LISBON (63): Conner Miller 1-2 0-0 2, Baile Arwine 5-11 1-2 11, Hagen Waters 8-14 3-5 27, Payton Bahl 4-10 2-2 13, Brett Givens 3-9 0-1 7, Wes Benyshek 1-2 1-2 3, Keegan Brayton 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 22-49 7-12 63.

Halftime — Lisbon 38, Easton Valley 28. 3-point goals — Easton Valley 9-26 (Kunde 0-3, Trenkamp 4-9, Jargo 5-11, Horst 0-1, Miller 0-2), Lisbon 12-28 (Miller 0-1, Arwine 0-2, Waters 8-12, Bahl 3-6, Givens 1-6, Brayton 0-1). Rebounds — Easton Valley 44 (Wilhelm 10), Lisbon 26 (Arwine 9). Total fouls — Easton Valley 13, Lisbon 6. Fouled out — None. Turnovers — Easton Valley 11, Lisbon 6.



CALAMUS-WHEATLAND (37): Jacob Looney 4-6 1-2 9, Brant Boeckmann 0-4 0-0 0, Josh Hein 1-3 0-0 2, Erick Solis 2-4 4-6 8, Hunter Rickels 4-10 3-4 12, Hunter Lawson 0-2 1-2 1, Tyler Rowald 0-3 0-0 0, Kaden Schnede 0-1 1-2 1, Caleb Banowetz 0-1 0-0 0, Max Hansen 0-1 0-0 0, Brian Forret 0-1 0-0 0, Brady Buchmeyer 1-3 0-0 2, Austin Henning 0-0 2-4 2, Chase Knoche 0-2 0-1 0. Totals 12-41 12-21 37.

NORTH LINN (92): Trevor Boge 3-4 1-2 7, Adam Waskow 0-1 0-0 0, David Seber 7-16 4-4 23, Jake Hilmer 6-11 6-6 18, Ryan Miller 7-12 4-4 21, Carter Johnson 2-2 1-2 5, Bradley Pflughaupt 1-2 2-4 4, Josh Smith 3-3 4-4 10, Austin Miller 1-1 0-0 2, Brennan Becker 1-3 0-0 2, Sean Boardman 0-4 0-2 0. Totals 31-58 22-28 92.

Halftime — North Linn 54, Calamus-Wheatland 21. 3-point goals — Calamus-Wheatland 1-9 (Hein 0-2, Solis 0-1, Rickels 1-2, Lawson 0-1, Buchmeyer 0-2, Knoche 0-1), North Linn 8-26 (Seber 5-13, Hilmer 0-2, R. Miller 3-8, Pflughaupt 0-1, Boardman 0-2). Rebounds — Calamus-Wheatland 25 (Looney 6), North Linn 38 (Hilmer, Boge 8). Total fouls — Calamus-Wheatland 22, North Linn 14. Fouled out — Hein, Rickels. Technical foul — Hein. Turnovers — Calamus-Wheatland 27, North Linn 14.

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