Prep Basketball

North Linn passes its test, blows past Liberty, 85-52

Class 1A 2nd-ranked Lynx beat 3A school

North Linn’s Ryan Miller (24) makes a basket as Maple Valley-Anthon-Oto Brady Goither (13) looks on during the first half of their 1A quarterfinal game during the Iowa High School Basketball Championships at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines on Monday, Mar. 6, 2017. (Stephen Mally/The Gazette)
North Linn’s Ryan Miller (24) makes a basket as Maple Valley-Anthon-Oto Brady Goither (13) looks on during the first half of their 1A quarterfinal game during the Iowa High School Basketball Championships at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines on Monday, Mar. 6, 2017. (Stephen Mally/The Gazette)

TROY MILLS — If this was its biggest test, the North Linn boys’ basketball team aced it. Make that an A-plus-plus.

That’s the only feasible grade you could give the Class 1A second-ranked Lynx after they took apart Iowa City Liberty, 85-52, Tuesday night.

This was dissecting a much bigger opponent, albeit a young one. Liberty is in its first year of existence, a Class 3A school with only one senior, three juniors and the rest sophomores and freshmen.

“We knew they were young, but were going to be athletic,” said North Linn’s Ryan Miller. “Just watching them on film, we could see they were very athletic and would be able to run with us. They wouldn’t be like any other school, this would be the toughest game we’d play. We just knew we had to come focused and do our thing. Luckily, it worked.”

North Linn (16-0) did what it always does, press you defensively all over the court and run, run, run. And then run some more.

The Lynx put up 25 points in the first quarter, led at halftime, 46-27, and after three quarters, 71-38. The running clock didn’t come until Miller hit a 3-pointer with 4:40 to go.

He finished with a game-high 30 points. David Seber had five treys and 21 points, point guard Jake Hilmer 20 points and a bunch of assists, as usual.

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North Linn came in averaging 93 points per game. This was its second-closest game this season, “closest” being relative, of course.

“Our conference, they always say the teams that we play aren’t great,” Seber said. “So we knew tonight would be our toughest game the whole season. We had to come out and try harder. I just wanted to do my best, shot the ball fine tonight. Threw up a couple of rushed ones, but, other than that, I felt fine.”

Co-Coach Mike Hilmer was happy with the result.

“The final margin, it probably could have been closer than that,” he said. “But Stu (Ordman) is a seasoned coach, he knows what he’s doing, has been at every level. We knew he’d do whatever he could to stop us. I thought they did do a pretty good job of slowing us down a little bit, but, obviously, we had 85 points. That’s our mantra, what we’re trying to do. Very pleased.”

Sophomore center Andre Brandon led Liberty (5-9) with 16 points and 10 rebounds. He’s going to be heck of a player by the time he graduates.

Iziah Paulsen added 15 points for the Lightning.

“It’s tough to similate their quickness,” Ordman said. “You really have to beat their traps and get the ball to the middle ... They are very quick and run their defense very well.”

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AT TROY MILLS

IOWA CITY LIBERTY (52): Ethan O’Donnell 1-3 2-2 4, Andre Brandon 6-8 4-6 16, Sam Dunke 1-4 0-2 2, Bo Gryp 1-2 0-0 3, Grayson Tyler 3-5 0-0 7, Corey Baldwin 0-2 0-0 0, Kelby Telander 0-2 0-0 0, Iziah Paulsen 4-9 6-6 15, Ben Houselog 1-3 1-3 3, Moses Bolar 1-2 0-2 2. Totals 18-40 13-20 52.

NORTH LINN (85): Trevor Boge 3-7 2-2 8, Adam Waskow 1-2 0-0 2, Ryan Miller 7-17 14-15 30, Jake Hilmer 8-15 4-4 20, David Seber 8-14 0-0 21, Carter Johnson 1-2 0-0 2, Bradley Pflughaupt 0-1 0-0 0, Sean Boardman 0-1 0-0 0, Austin Miller 1-1 0-0 2, Josh Smith 0-1 0-0 0, Brennan Becker 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 29-61 20-21 85.

Halftime — North Linn 46, Liberty 27. 3-point goals — Liberty 3-10 (Gryp 1-2, Tyler 1-3, Paulsen 1-3, Houselog 0-2), North Linn 7-20 (Boge 0-2, Miller 2-6, Hilmer 0-2, Seber 5-9, Boardman 0-1). Rebounds — Liberty 25 (Brandon 10), North Linn 33 (Hilmer 9). Total fouls — Liberty 21, North Linn 15. Fouled out — Brandon, Paulsen. Turnovers — Liberty 23, North Linn 7.

l Comments: (319) 398-8259; jeff.johnson@thegazette.com

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