Prep Basketball

After bottoming out last year, Linn-Mar girls' basketball is competitive again

Lions take 4-game win streak into Wednesday's 5A regional quarterfinal vs. Jefferson

Linn-Mar’s Macey Miller (3) points to a teammate after making a 3-pointer during a game last season. The Lions (10-10) host Cedar Rapids Jefferson (1-19) in a Class 5A girls’ basketball regional quarterfinal Wednesday. (Stephen Mally/The Gazette)
Linn-Mar’s Macey Miller (3) points to a teammate after making a 3-pointer during a game last season. The Lions (10-10) host Cedar Rapids Jefferson (1-19) in a Class 5A girls’ basketball regional quarterfinal Wednesday. (Stephen Mally/The Gazette)

It wasn’t a big win that served as a turning point to Linn-Mar’s season.

Rather, it was a 17-point loss at Cedar Rapids Washington on Dec. 4. And its aftermath.

“It was a really good learning experience,” Lions Coach Nate Sanderson said. “When we went back to the film, we found 22 possessions in which we either left points on the court or we gave up points that maybe we shouldn’t have.

“I think for a lot of the kids, that was the first time they realized they really weren’t that far away.”

A year removed from a 3-19 campaign that marked the low point of the program, Linn-Mar has bounced back and reclaimed competitiveness. A four-game win streak has the Lions at 10-10 heading into their Class 5A girls’ basketball regional quarterfinal at home Wednesday against Cedar Rapids Jefferson (1-19).

Tipoff is 7 p.m.

“It’s not a game that we can just walk into and win,” Sanderson said. “If we don’t shoot well, they have enough size ... they’re capable of sticking around.”

Linn-Mar, which tied for second place in the MVC Valley Division, has just one senior on the roster; Macey Miller leads the Lions at 11.0 points per game. Sophomore Kalyn Wise paces Jefferson at 9.3 points per contest.

The Lions won at Jefferson, 46-34, Jan. 8.

Wednesday features regional quarterfinals in 4A and 5A, regional semifinals in 3A, plus regional quarterfinals in 1A and 2A that were moved back from Tuesday due to weather.

Iowa City Liberty (3-16) is the only other Metro/Iowa City team in action Wednesday. The Lightning are at Western Dubuque (9-12) in a 4A contest.

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Among area 3A ranked teams, No. 3 Center Point-Urbana (19-2) hosts Mid-Prairie (12-9), No. 9 Waukon (16-3) entertains North Fayette Valley (11-10) and No. 15 Monticello (12-6) is at No. 13 Davenport Assumption (11-9).

Wednesday's Class 5A regional quarterfinals

All games, 7 p.m.

Region 1

Davenport Central (4-16) at Davenport North (11-8)

Region 4

Council Bluffs Thomas Jefferson (12-9) at Council Bluffs Abraham Lincoln (11-9)

Region 5

Dubuque Senior (9-11) at Waterloo West (12-8)

Region 7

Cedar Rapids Jefferson (1-18) at Linn-Mar (10-10)

 

Wednesday's Class 4A regional quarterfinals

All games, 7 p.m.

Region 3

Decorah (4-17) at Independence (1-18)

Perry (1-19) at Boone (12-8)

Region 5

West Delaware (3-15) at Dubuque Wahlert (5-15)

Iowa City Liberty (3-16) at Western Dubuque (9-12)

Region 6

Maquoketa (13-7) at Clinton (8-10)

Fort Madison (1-19) at Burlington (4-15)

Region 7

Oskaloosa (2-18) at Washington (7-13)

Mount Pleasant (6-14) at Clear Creek Amana (10-7)

 

Wednesday's Class 3A regional semifinals

7 p.m., unless noted

Region 4

North Fayette Valley (11-10) at Waukon (16-3), 7:30 p.m.

Monticello (12-6) at Davenport Assumption (11-9)

Region 5

Mid-Prairie (12-9) at Center Point-Urbana (19-2)

Central Lee (18-5) vs. West Burlington (16-4), at Mount Pleasant

Region 6

Clarion CGD (11-11) at Iowa Falls-Alden (18-2)

Benton Community (8-12) at West Marshall (12-7), 6:30 p.m.

Region 7

Monroe PCM (9-11) at North Polk (19-2)

Centerville (11-8) vs. South Tama (11-7), 6:30 p.m., at Knoxville

 

Wednesday's Class 2A regional quarterfinals

All games, 7 p.m.

Region 3

Lake Mills (9-13) at Grundy Center (19-0)

Hudson (10-10) at Jesup (14-7)

West Fork (16-5) at Saint Ansgar (16-4)

Wapsie Valley (12-10) at Sumner-Fredericksburg (15-5)

Region 4

Belle Plaine (12-6) at Cascade (19-1)

South Winneshiek (10-10) at MFL MarMac (20-1)

Dyersville Beckman (11-10) at Bellevue (17-3)

East Buchanan (15-6) at Maquoketa Valley (18-2)

Region 5

Northeast (5-14) at North Linn (18-1)

Iowa City Regina (9-10) at West Branch (15-4)

Highland (15-7) at Wilton (19-2)

 

Wednesday's Class 1A regional quarterfinals

7 p.m., unless noted

Region 2

Rockford (10-10) at Clarksville (17-2), 5 p.m.

Mason City Newman (13-8) at Algona Garrigan (15-6)

Lansing Kee (13-5) vs. Turkey Valley (13-7), 6 p.m.

North Butler (7-12) at Tripoli (12-8)

Region 3

Gladbrook-Reinbeck (9-11) at Janesville (16-4)

Dunkerton (10-12) at Elkader Central (12-9)

North Tama (3-18) at Ackley AGWSR (12-7)

Central City (7-14) at Springville (13-9)

Region 4

Iowa Mennonite (10-10) at Lynnville-Sully (16-3)

HLV (3-17) at Meskwaki (11-8)

Prince of Peace (8-10) at Bellevue Marquette (18-2)

Calamus-Wheatland (8-12) at Easton Valley (15-6)

Region 5

Moravia (5-13) at Montezuma (18-2)

Moulton-Udell (7-11) at Keota (9-12)

Winfield-Mount Union (5-16) at Sigourney (17-3)

l Comments: (319) 368-8857; jeff.linder@thegazette.com

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