Prep Basketball

Linn-Mar advances past Prairie despite last-second foul in boys' basketball substate opener

Lions will get shot at Johnston after 53-51 win

Linn-Mar head coach Chris Robertson in 2019. (The Gazette)
Linn-Mar head coach Chris Robertson in 2019. (The Gazette)

MARION — Gavyn Lamb knew it didn’t look good for Linn-Mar.

Prairie’s Caden Stoffer was fouled on a desperation 3-point attempt with 0.4 seconds on the clock and his team trailing 53-51.

“I played AAU with him so he is one of my really good friends,” Lamb said. “I said he was definitely making these because he’s an 85-percent free throw shooter and is always clutching up against us.”

Stoffer stepped to the line and had his first two attempts bounce off the rim. After a Hawks timeout, he missed the third on purpose hoping for a desperation tip that didn’t materialize, giving Linn-Mar the win in a Class 4A boys’ basketball substate quarterfinal at Linn-Mar.

The Lions (8-10) advance to a 7 p.m. substate semifinal on Friday at Johnston (8-4). Prairie retires at 4-9.

The misses for Stoffer were an unfortunate ending to what was a brilliant game for him, scoring 16 points.

“We got a break, no question, on the free throws at the end,” Linn-Mar Coach Chris Robertson said. “I thought our guys played real hard all night, as did Prairie. We always have real closely contested games with them.”

It also helped that Lamb came alive in the fourth, scoring 12 of his game-high 21 points in the quarter. It started with a 3-point basket early in the period, giving the Lions a 39-38 lead, their first since the second quarter.

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“After that 3, I was just trying to find my buckets and find my teammates for open buckets to try and come back,” he said.

Before Lamb got going, Robertson turned to his bench for a spark and they delivered cutting the gap to 35-33 after three quarters.

“We had a few little defensive breakdowns so we went with that second group for a little bit,” he said. “Sometimes that slows us down a little bit offensively, which can be good.”

The final two minutes saw both teams with opportunities. Lamb’s spinning lay-in put the Lions up for good with just over a minute to play. Linn-Mar missed three free throws in the final minute.

Junior Jake Walter had 17 points for Prairie.

PRAIRIE (51): Caden Stoffer 5 5-11 16, Jackson Nove 1 1-2 3, Jake Walter 7 3-4 17, Elijah Ward 1 0-0 2, Collin Rickertsen 0 1-2 1, Geramie Hardaway 0 0-0 0, Jack Wagemester 0 0-0 0, Moses Each 0 0-0 0, Caden Richards 1 0-1 2, Dionte Fliss 1 0-0 2, Max Egger 2 2-2 8, Everett Koch 0 0-0 0. Totals: 18 12-22 51

LINN-MAR (53): Pearson Martin 0 3-4 3, Gavyn Lamb 8 3-4 21, Cam Guenther 1 2-4 5, Jaxson Young 1 3-4 5, Luke Passmore 3 2-4 8, Jackson Severson 1 0-0 3, Jayden Hill 0 2-3 2, Henry Read 0 2-2 2, Ian Mindrup 2 1-1 5, Jack Robertson 0 0-0 0. Totals: 16 18-26 53

Halftime: Linn-Mar 22, Prairie 22. 3-point goals: Prairie 3, (Egger 2, Stoffer). Linn-Mar 3 (Lamb 2, Severson), Team fouls: Prairie 22, Linn-Mar 17. Fouled out: Ward. Technical fouls: none.

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