MARION — It’s mostly a player’s game, and Chris Robertson has had a bunch of good ones during his four-plus seasons as head boys’ basketball coach at Linn-Mar.
There’s Wisconsin’s Jason Bohannon, Gonzaga’s Grant Gibbs, Western Michigan’s Nate Hutcheson and Air Force’s Zach Bohannon. This season’s team has future Division I players in point guard Marcus Paige and wing Matt Bohannon.
But a lot to be said for the way Robertson gets all that talent to consistently play together and well, which is why he picked up his 100th victory at the school Friday night, 63-45, over Iowa City West.
“I told the guys that I’ve had great players, but more importantly, great people,” said Robertson, who was given an autographed basketball by his team in a postgame ceremony. “That’s what’s made this a lot of fun. They’re just great kids, great to be around. Every season is fun. They do things the right way, and that’s the thing I think we take the most pride in. We play the game the right way.”
Robertson is 100-14 and has taken Linn-Mar to the state tournament all four of his previous seasons: winning it all in 2007, finishing second last season, third in 2008 and fourth in 2006. The school said he notched 100 wins faster than any Class 4A coach ever has.
“It says a lot about the program,” said Paige. “How hard he gets the guys to work in the off-season and everything. His preparation before games. The whole program has just been phenomenal. It’s great to have him as head coach.”
It’s great to have Paige running the show. The sophomore came into last night’s game shooting 63 percent from the field, numbers that actually went up after a 7-for-10, 14-point night.
Bohannon had a game-high 19 points as hot-shooting Linn-Mar (10-1) led start to wire to win for the ninth consecutive time since an early December loss to Bettendorf. Tayler Bontrager’s 11 points led West (4-7), which has lost six straight.
“(The loss to Bettendorf) was really a learning experience for us,” Paige said. “It kind of put the season in perspective. We knew we had to get back on the right track, start going harder in practice so we could get more prepared for games. Ever since then, we’ve kind of been on a roll.”
“The guys are really playing well,” Robertson said. “They’ve been really sharp coming out of break. We spent a lot of time over Christmas just kind of fine tuning some things. We’ve played four really good games coming out of the break. We’ve talked about keeping the foot on the pedal. Keep improving, keep getting better. I’ve said from the beginning that this team has a chance to be pretty good when it’s all said and done, if we keep plugging away.”