Prep Basketball

North Linn boys' basketball returns to state after 84-41 rout of Gladbrook-Reinbeck

Undefeated Lynx ready to improve on last year's third place finish at state

North Linn's Jake Hilmer celebrates with teammates after beating Lisbon in the district final Thursday night at Cedar Rapdis Kennedy. The Lynx beat Gladbrook-Reinbeck in Saturday's substate final. (Stephen Mally/The Gazette)
North Linn's Jake Hilmer celebrates with teammates after beating Lisbon in the district final Thursday night at Cedar Rapdis Kennedy. The Lynx beat Gladbrook-Reinbeck in Saturday's substate final. (Stephen Mally/The Gazette)

VINTON — They already had a taste. Now they want the title.

Undefeated and second-ranked North Linn had four players score in double figures and used first-half bursts of 18-0 and 17-0 for an 84-41 drubbing of Gladbrook-Reinbeck in a Class 1A substate final Saturday night at Vinton-Shellsburg High School.

“Our pressure really got to them in that first couple of minutes,” North Linn senior Ryan Miller said. “After that, we knew that if we kept playing the way we could, they wouldn’t be able to handle us.”

The victory delivered North Linn (26-0) to the state tournament for the second year in a row. Class 1A play begins March 5 at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines.

“Last year at the beginning of the year our goal was to get down there,” junior guard Jake Hilmer said. “This year, we have a completely different goal. We want to win three ballgames.”

Miller accounted for 10 early points as the Lynx scored the first 18 of the game. Nearly three minutes of game time elapsed before Gladbrook-Reinbeck even attempted a shot.

“Our defense was fantastic again tonight,” North Linn Co-Coach Mike Hilmer said. “We really shot the ball well tonight, too. … Everybody was hitting on all cylinders and that got us an early lead, got us some early confidence and I think sometimes that breaks the will of the other team.”

North Linn started the second quarter with 17 consecutive points, then added an 8-0 surge to begin the second half. Miller led the way with 31 points and seven rebounds as the Lynx avenged their only defeat in the last two seasons – a five-point setback to Gladbrook-Reinbeck in last year’s 1A state semifinal.

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“We definitely knew after last year that we felt like we should have won that game even though we shot poorly,” Miller said. “We had a lead in the fourth and just couldn’t get any buckets down the stretch. We knew when we got that lead that we had to just keep packing it on.”

Hilmer — already the state record holder for assists in a career and a season — added a game-high 17 to his total. He is the first player to eclipse 800 assists for a career (816) and has 337 this season. He finished with 18 points, while fellow juniors David Seber and Trevor Boge scored 13 apiece.

“We are a real prepared team no matter who our opponent is,” Hilmer said. “We put together a really good game plan and we did a great job of executing it tonight.”

Caden Kickbush, Mason Skovgard and Walker Thede each scored nine points for Gladbrook-Reinbeck, which retires at 19-7.

 

CLASS 1A SUBSTATE FINAL

No. 2 North Linn 84, Gladbrook-Reinbeck 41

At Vinton-Shellsburg

GLADBROOK-REINBECK (41): Tyler Tscherter 0 0-0 0, Walker Thede 3 2-4 9, Matt Johannsen 1 0-0 2, Caden Kickbush 4 1-2 9, Eli Thede 1 0-0 2, Jackson Kiburis 2 6-6 10, Colton Clark 0 0-0 0, David Riffey 0 0-0 0, Mason Skovgard 4 1-2 9, Totals 15 10-14 41.

NORTH LINN (84): Austin Miller 0 0-0 0, Jake Hilmer 7 2-3 18, Bradley Pflughaupt 3 0-0 7, David Seber 5 0-0 13, Ryan Miller 11 2-2 31, Trevor Boge 6 1-2 13, Josh Smith 0 0-0 0, Adam Waskow 1 0-0 2, Sean Boardman 0 0-0 0, Carter Johnson 0 0-0 0, Brennan Becker 0 0-0 0, Totals 33 5-7 84.

Gladbrook-Reinbeck 12 14 4 11—41

North Linn 31 26 16 11—84

Halftime — North Linn, 57-26. Three-point goals — Gladbrook-Reinbeck 1 (W. Thede), North Linn 13 (R. Miller 7, Seber 3, Hilmer 2, Pflughaupt 1). Total fouls — Gladbrook-Reinbeck 11, North Linn 14. Fouled out — None.

l Comments: douglas.miles@thegazette.com

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