Prep Basketball

North Linn claims 2A top-10 girls' basketball showdown against Maquoketa Valley

Lynx use an early 14-0 run to zap Wildcats, 70-41

Grace Flanagan, North Linn
Grace Flanagan, North Linn

TROY MILLS — Maybe it was an aberration, one of those nights in which two evenly matched teams were anything but.

Maybe not. We’ll find out by the end of the month.

After the first three minutes, Class 2A third-ranked North Linn had its way with No. 8 Maquoketa Valley and waltzed to a 70-41 Tri-Rivers Conference West Division girls’ basketball victory Friday night at North Linn High School.

“We really wanted to start it with our defense,” senior guard Grace Flanagan said. “Then, on offense, we wanted to move the ball, and we did.

“Everybody was making shots.”

This was the first of two matchups between last year’s divisional co-champions (the second is Jan. 28 at Delhi), and it seemed to be a dead-even matchup. But the Lynx (7-1 overall, 3-0 Tri-Rivers West) ran away from an early 6-6 draw, scoring 14 straight points and building a 37-15 lead by halftime.

“Maquoketa Valley has a really nice team, and you never really know how it’s going to go,” Lynx Coach Brian Wheatley said. “Man, our kids came out really focused.”

Flanagan scored 26 points, Ellie Ware tallied 14 and Chloe Van Etten came off the bench to register 10 points, seven rebounds and five assists.

Abby Flanagan scored just two points, but her 12 rebounds and six assists were key.

The Lynx suffered an unexpected bump, 60-40, at Bellevue Marquette on Dec. 13. It opened some eyes, outside the program and inside.

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“The girls responded well,” Wheatley said. “Our five seniors said, this isn’t going to define our season. There had been some things on film that weren’t the greatest, just little things that you notice that we had been getting away with.

“You hate to lose, but that may have been a good thing for us.”

The onslaught continued early in the second half; the Lynx scored the first 11 points after intermission, and the continuous clock ran periodically the rest of the way.

Taya Tucker led Maquoketa Valley (8-1, 2-1) with 22 points and 13 rebounds.

NORTH LINN 70, MAQUOKETA VALLEY 41

At Troy Mills

MAQUOKETA VALLEY (41): Taya Tucker 7-16 6-10 22, Carissa Sabers 0-6 0-0 0, Ella Imler 4-14 0-0 9, Trista Elgin 1-5 0-0 3, Brooke Elgin 0-1 2-4 2, Erin Knipper 1-2 0-0 2, Kennedy Rausch 1-4 0-1 3, Anna Deutmeyer 0-0 0-0 0, Caelyn Sands 0-3 0-0 0, Liz McDowell 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 14-52 8-15 41.

NORTH LINN (70): Hannah Bridgewater 2-3 0-0 4, Grace Flanagan 8-17 4-4 26, Ellie Ware 7-9 0-2 14, Abby Flanagan 1-6 0-0 2, Sydney Burke 4-7 0-0 9, Chloe Van Etten 4-5 2-2 10, Fallon Finnegan 0-0 1-2 1, Ellie Flanagan 1-3 0-0 2, Ella Ries 1-2 0-0 2, Elise Ware 0-1 0-0 0, Maddie Stepepanek 0-2 0-0 0, Olivia Rauch 0-1 0-0 0, Emma Ries 0-0 0-0 0, Sam Rechkemmer 0-1 0-0 0, Emilie Hass 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 28-57 7-10 70.

Halftime: North Linn 37, Maquoketa Valley 15. 3-point goals: Maquoketa Valley 5-30 (Tucker 2-5, Sabers 0-6, Imler 1-7, T. Elgin 1-5, Rausch 1-4, Sands 0-2, McDowell 0-1), North Linn 7-21 (G. Flanagan 6-12, A. Flanagan 0-2, Burke 1-3, E. Flanagan 0-1, Ella Ries 0-1, Elise Ware 0-1, Stepanek 0-1). Team fouls: Maquoketa Valley 14, North Linn 8. Fouled out: none. Rebounds: Maquoketa Valley 33 (Tucker 13), North Linn 41 (A. Flanagan 12). Assists: Maquoketa Valley 4 (four with 1), North Linn 19 (A. Flanagan 6). Steals: Maquoketa Valley 3 (three with 1), North Linn 5 (G. Flanagan 2). Turnovers: Maquoketa Valley 12, North Linn 7.

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

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