Prep Basketball

Maquoketa Valley muscles past North Linn in 1-vs.-2 girls' basketball showdown, 52-34

Wildcats buckle down on 'D,' control the glass, end Lynx win streak at 12

Taya Tucker: 15 points in Maquoketa Valley's 52-34 win over North Linn.
Taya Tucker: 15 points in Maquoketa Valley’s 52-34 win over North Linn.
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DELHI — Bigger. Stronger.

And, on this day, quite a bit better.

Class 2A top-ranked Maquoketa Valley held No. 2 North Linn to 24-percent shooting, controlled the glass and muscled past the Lynx, 52-34, in a Tri-Rivers Conference West Division girls’ basketball showdown Saturday afternoon at Maquoketa Valley High School.

“We knew we were better,” Maquoketa Valley’s Emerson Whittenbaugh said. “It was kind of our three seniors against their two freshmen, and we were able to physically push them around a little on the boards.”

The Wildcats (8-0, 4-0 Tri-Rivers West) held North Linn (6-1, 1-1) without a field goal for the last 11:05 of the first half, and snapped the Lynx’s 12-game winning streak. North Linn is the reigning 2A state champion.

As Whittenbaugh mentioned, Maquoketa Valley is full of experience. But it was a freshman, Haley Ronnebaum, who stepped forward during the Wildcats’ pivotal surge.

Ronnebaum hit back-to-back 3-pointers midway through the second quarter that tilted the game in the Wildcats’ favor. That highlighted a 17-2 quarter that put Maquoketa Valley in front, 23-10, at intermission.

“She was huge,” Maquoketa Valley Coach Scot Moenck said of Ronnebaum, who had scored 19 points in the Wildcats’ first seven games. “She came in and played with a tremendous amount of confidence.”

The Wildcats maintained a double-digit lead throughout the second half. Credit the defense (North Linn made 9 of 37 shots) and a 35-22 rebounding advantage.

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“We really paid attention to detail defensively,” said Taya Tucker, who led the Wildcats with 15 points. “We didn’t let them get a lot of open looks on the perimeter, and we were able to close out.”

Whittenbaugh added 12 points, eight boards and five assists, and Ronnebaum tallied nine for the winners.

Freshman Kamryn Kurt paced North Linn with 12 points. Chloe Van Etten and Ellie Flanagan added nine apiece.

“This was a big game, but it sure isn’t the end of the season,” North Linn Coach Brian Wheatley said. “There are still a lot of goals in front of us, and this doesn’t change that.”

MAQUOKETA VALLEY 52, NORTH LINN 34

At Delhi

NORTH LINN (34): Chloe Van Etten 2-5 5-6 9, Ella Ries 0-3 0-0 0, Macy Boge 1-6 0-0 3, Ellie Ware 0-5 0-1 0, Kamryn Kurt 3-9 4-6 12, Elise Ware 0-3 1-2 1, Ellie Flanagan 3-6 0-0 9, Maddie Stepanek 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 9-37 10-15 34.

MAQUOKETA VALLEY (52): Carissa Sabers 0-1 0-0 0, Kylie Chesnut 1-5 2-2 4, Ella Imler 1-5 3-4 6, Taya Tucker 4-8 7-12 15, Emerson Whittenbaugh 3-8 5-6 12, Kennedy Rausch 2-5 0-0 6, Erin Knipper 0-0 0-0 0, Haley Ronnebaum 3-5 1-3 9. Totals 14-37 18-27 52.

Halftime: Maquoketa Valley 23, North Linn 10. 3-point goals: North Linn 6-23 (Van Etten 0-1, Ries 0-1, Boge 1-6, Kurt 2-7, Elise Ware 0-2, Flanagan 3-6), Maquoketa Valley 6-24 (Sabers 0-1, Chesnut 0-2, Imler 1-4, Tucker 0-3, Whittenbaugh 1-5, Rausch 2-5, Ronnebaum 2-4). Team fouls: North Linn 24, Maquoketa Valley 16. Fouled out: Van Etten, Ellie Ware. Rebounds: North Linn 22 (Ellie Ware 7), Maquoketa Valley 35 (Whittenbaugh 8). Assists: North Linn 6 (Kurt 3), Maquoketa Valley 10 (Whittenbaugh 5). Steals: North Linn 4 (four with 1), Maquoketa Valley 8 (Tucker 3). Turnovers: North Linn 11, Maquoketa Valley 10.

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

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