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Posted December 20, 2011
Battle of unbeatens goes to Lynx

TROY MILLS — The North Linn Lynx have some sharp-looking warmup tops waiting for them in a box.

And for now, that’s where they’ll stay.

“Coach (Brian Wheatley) is a pretty superstitous guy,” said senior Amanda Aberle.

The Lynx played from ahead all game and overcame 26 turnovers in a 52-45 win over Class 2A sixth-ranked Monticello in a Tri-Rivers Conference girls’ basketball game Tuesday night at North Linn High School.

As a result, North Linn (11-0 overall, 7-0 Tri-Rivers) takes a piece of the conference lead into the holiday break. The Lynx kept pace with Maquoketa Valley (10-0, 7-0), which edged Cascade, 43-40, Tuesday.

And the warmups, which were on back order through the first half of the season and finally arrived Tuesday, will stay in storage.

Probably. Maybe.

“That’s the plan, unless I make a Christmas gift out of them,” Wheatley said.

Other than a 10-10 tie late in the first quarter, North Linn led the whole way. The Lynx were the superior team inside and enjoyed a 40-28 rebounding edge. That, and a 7-for-18 effort by Monticello at the foul line, were the difference.

It didn’t help the Panthers (9-1, 6-1) that top player Brooke Stahlberg was on the bench in a cast. She suffered a broken wrist earlier this season and isn’t expected back until late January.

“Actually, I’m pleasantly surprised with the way we played without our leader,” said Monticello Coach Donnie Kremer. “We played with a lot of intensity, and we’re only going to get better.

“But we can’t give up so many second shots. A good team is going to make you pay, and they did.”

Monticello cut a 10-point third-quarter deficit to three on two occasions early in the fourth quarter, then the Lynx assembled a 9-1 surge to put it away.

Aberle made the key play, cutting into a passing lane for a steal. She missed the layup, but grabbed the rebound and converted to make it 48-40 with 3:45 left.

“I like to think of myself as someone who’s pretty fast,” Aberle said. “That’s one of my strengths. I was able to read their eyes and make the play.”

Freshman Nicole Miller (14 points) and Aberle (13) combined to make 11 of 14 shots from the floor. Jenna Schade added nine points and eight rebounds.

Monticello’s Taylor Aitchison led all scorers with 15 points. Paxtyn Keleher added nine.

The Lynx built a nine-point cushion late in the before Miller went to the bench with her second foul late in the second quarter.

It was 28-21 at the half.


At Troy Mills

MONTICELLO (45): Paxtyn Keleher 4-8 1-2 9, Jordan Aitchison 3-9 0-2 6, Taylor Aitchison 5-14 3-6 15, Lael Lubben 3-8 2-5 8, Becca Dirks 2-5 1-2 5, Courtney Iben 0-2 0-0 0, Andrea Bone 1-2 0-0 2, Allison Kraus 0-2 0-0 0, Kelsey Iben 0-1 0-0 0, Taylor Utter 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 18-52 7-18 45.

NORTH LINN (52): Laura Moorman 1-8 3-7 5, Brenna Winn 1-4 3-6 5, Nicole Miller 5-6 4-5 14, Amanda Aberle 6-8 0-0 13, Jenna Schade 3-5 2-2 9, Libby Falconer 1-4 0-0 2, Haley Dudley 2-5 0-0 4, Taylor Zumbach 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 19-41 12-20 52.

Halftime: North Linn 28, Monticello 21. 3-point goals: Monticello 2-11 (Keleher 0-1, J.Aitchison 0-3, T.Aitchison 2-5, Bone 0-1, Utter 0-1), North Linn 2-11 (Moorman 0-5, Winn 0-1, Aberle 1-1, Schade 1-1, Dudley 0-2, Zumbach 0-1) Team fouls: Monticello 21, North Linn 17. Fouled out: none. Rebounds: Monticello 28 (Lubben 10), North Linn 40 (Schade, Falconer 8). Assists: Monticello 8 (J.Aitchison, T. Aitchison, Lubben 2), North Linn 7 (Miller 2). Steals: Monticello 14 (T.Aitchison 5), North Linn 9 (Aberle 4). Turnovers: Monticello 15, North Linn 26.

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