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The Gazette KCRG
Posted February 7, 2014
Strong play down stretch gives Xavier first win over Linn-Mar

MARION – Someday, someway Cedar Rapids Xavier’s boys’ basketball team was going to beat Linn-Mar. It was inevitable.

Someday turned out to be Friday night, someway was with clutch play down the stretch.

Juniors Calvin Winker and Adam McDermott accounted for 10 points, some huge free throws and rebounds in the final two minutes of an intensely played 62-57 win at the Lions gym. It’s no longer an oh-fer for the Saints, rather a one-fer.

One win in 30 games isn’t much to get cocky about, but, hey, you’ve got to start somewhere.

“We’ve been thinking about that (streak) all week,” Winker said. “We know that Linn-Mar always has a good program. Give a lot of props to them. We just focused all week during practice, had intense practices every single time. We had confidence. That’s all you need is confidence.”

A career night helps a tad, too, as the 6-foot-4 junior forward was unstoppable offensively at times in a 27-point game. Linn-Mar had a 55-52 lead, but Winker hit a tough baseline turnaround with 1:30 left, then was fouled and clutched up with two free throws that put his club ahead for good with 53.6 seconds to go.

McDermott hit six straight shots from the stripe from there.

“We had a lot of poise,” Winker said.

“We knew we were going to have to get it done on the defensive end,” said McDermott, who battled foul trouble but still had 20 points. “The last game, we tried to outscore them, and it definitely didn’t work. We focused on defense in practice this week, and that really helped.”

Linn-Mar beat Xavier two weeks ago, 59-35.

“Very big win for us,” said Xavier Coach Ryan Luehrsmann. “In my time here (two seasons), the three losses I’ve been a part of, I think we placed too much emphasis on that, trying to be the team to break through against them. Leading up to this one, all we stressed was that this was a big game.”

On Linn-Mar’s end, the loss could be easily figured out – cold shooting. The Lions were 35 percent from the field and couldn’t buy a bucket when they absolutely needed one.

Jordan Bohannon missed a go-ahead 3-pointer with 30 seconds left, then there were three more missed shots on the next possession, including a pair of 3s. It was fitting in a cruel way that Linn-Mar’s Riley Murphy made a long jumper at the buzzer for the final margin.

“We had a lot of good looks,” Linn-Mar Coach Chris Robertson said. “Played hard, just didn’t shoot well. In the end, fouled too much, and that was the difference.”

Both teams are 10-7.

Here is the game boxscore:

AT LINN-MAR

C.R. XAVIER (62): Adam McDermott 5-9 9-9 20, Calvin Winker 10-14 5-6 27, Matt Nelson 1-4 1-4 3, Andrew Bisenius 1-5 1-2 3, Mitch Burger 1-3 2-2 4, Connor Ramlo 0-2 1-2 1, Frank Hill 0-0 0-0 0, Matt Downey 1-1 2-2 4. Totals 19-38 21-27 62.

LINN-MAR (57): Lane Halupnik 5-10 1-1 12, Ben Larson 0-3 0-0 0, Jon Schlotterback 4-7 3-5 11, Nic Uhlir 5-15 2-3 13, Jordan Bohannon 7-20 0-0 18, Trevor Noble 0-0 0-0 0, Jordan Brandt 0-3 1-2 1, Ryan Schmidt 0-2 0-0 0, Riley Murphy 1-2 0-0 2, Griffin Brennecke 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 22-63 7-11 57.

Halftime – Xavier 21, Linn-Mar 16. 3-point goals – Xavier 3-12 (McDermott 1-4, Winker 2-3, Bisenius 0-4, Ramlo 0-1), Linn-Mar 6-19 (Halupnik 1-3, Uhlir 1-5, Bohannon 4-9, Brandt 0-2). Rebounds – Xavier 36 (McDermott 7), Linn-Mar 32 (Schlotterback 8). Total fouls – Xavier 14, Linn-Mar 22. Fouled out – Brandt. Turnovers – Xavier 8, Linn-Mar 6.

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