DES MOINES — When Linn-Mar defeated Cedar Rapids Kennedy in January, Kiah Stokes had perspective.
“It’s not going to matter that much in the long run,” Stokes said at the time. “Our No. 1 goal is a state championship.”
To get there, the Lions must repeat the feat Friday.
No. 1 Linn-Mar (24-0) faces No. 5 Kennedy (21-2) in an all-Metro Class 4A semifinal at the girls’ basketball state tournament. Tipoff is noon at Wells Fargo Arena.
“It’s our turn to win,” said Kennedy’s Laura Boenish. “And now would be the best time to win.”
Friday’s victor plays for the 4A title against Des Moines East or Waukee at 8 p.m. Friday.
The game is big. The stakes are high.
“They’ve got a lot on the line. So do we,” said Kennedy Coach Dennis Roloff. “We’ll show up.”
Linn-Mar held the Cougars to 21-percent shooting in the second half and won, 62-49, at Kennedy on Jan. 19.
Now, it’s 0-0 again.
“We don’t feel any pressure,” said Kennedy’s Kristen Hahn. “We’re going to come out and have fun. It’s going to be a great game.”
“It will be a battle,” said Linn-Mar’s Kayla Klopfenstein. “We just have to come prepared.”
The game contains five Division-I athletes.
Kennedy’s Jade Rogers and Linn-Mar’s D.J. Norman have signed to play at Iowa and Southern Utah, respectively. Stokes, a junior, will play at a high level somewhere in two years.
Hahn and Kennedy’s Haley Brightwell will play volleyball at Iowa State and Drake in the fall.
In the previous meeting, Stokes had 28 points and 10 rebounds; Rogers posted 21 points and 12 boards.
Call to the Hall
Janel Grimm Burgess, who played at Deep River-Millersburg and Montezuma, is among Friday’s three inductees into the IGHSAU/Farm Bureau Girls’ Basketball Hall of Fame.
Induction will be at halftime of the Class 1A championship game.
Grimm Burgess graduated from Montezuma in 1994. She led the state in scoring in six-player ball as a junior, then in the five-player game as a senior.
She played at Iowa State and helped lay the groundwork for what is now a perennial top-25 program. Currently, she’s in her third year of coaching at Grand Valley State.
The other honorees are Molly Tideback (Waterloo Columbus, 1988) and Jennifer Goetz (Keokuk Cardinal Stritch, 2003).
Cedar Rapids Kennedy, Class 4A semifinals, D.J. Norman, dennis roloff, girls' state basketball tournament, Haley Brightwell, Jade Rogers, Janel Grimm Burgess, Jennifer Goetz, Kayla Klopfenstein, kiah stokes, Kristen Hahn, Laura Boenish, Linn-Mar, Mike Brandt, Molly Tideback