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The Gazette KCRG
Posted February 14, 2014
Uhlir comes up big late again to lift Linn-Mar past Kennedy

CEDAR RAPIDS – You look at the final score and see a comparative breather for the Linn-Mar Lions. But this was anything but a breather.

Not for this team, not this season.

A 73-65 win at Cedar Rapids Kennedy actually was the least-closest game these guys have played the last three weeks. Tied with three minutes to go, Nic Uhlir had an ever-unique four-point play that helped shove Linn-Mar to its second win in 11 days over Kennedy.

“Every game for us feels like it’s going to be close,” Uhlir said.

That’s because they have been … for both teams.

Linn-Mar (11-8) has played 11 games decided by five points or less, including the previous five. This was the 16th game Kennedy (14-5) has played decided by nine or less.

“That’s one thing we’ve been working on in practice is the late-game scenario,” said Linn-Mar Coach Chris Robertson. “We’ve had several where we’ve had the ball late with a minute left and a small lead, and a couple of times we’ve let it get away from us. That’s one thing I told them tonight after the game. The last three minutes, I thought we handled just about perfectly.”

Jordan Brandt made an open lane jumper and Uhlir a trey for a 63-58 Linn-Mar lead. After a 3-pointer by Kennedy’s Cole Murdock, Uhlir stuck the dagger in the Cougars by swishing a 3-pointer from the wing while being fouled.

His free throw made it 67-61 with 1:27 left. Too much for Kennedy to overcome.

“Jordan (Bohannon) drove the lane, made a great pass out to me,” said Uhlir, who had a game-high 25 points. “Just wanted to make it and did. We were able to make plays down the stretch.”

Kennedy lost last Tuesday at Linn-Mar, 70-64. Uhlir had 30 points in that game, including a go-ahead 3-pointer with two minutes left.

“This is no worse than the first one,” said Murdock, who had 14 points. “Anytime you lose to Linn-Mar, it feels bad. Losing is one thing. Then to lose to the school we, I don’t want to say hate the most, but losing to them twice is hard to take.”

A.J. Carter led the Cougars with 19 points, an unstoppable force at times driving the paint in the second half. Bohannon added 19 points for Linn-Mar.

“Feels really good to come over here and get it,” Robertson said. “We played really well against them at our place. We knew they were going to be motivated and ready to go tonight. That was a good high-school basketball game. Not a lot of big leads either way, back and forth. We were able to get a lead at the end and fortunate enough to hang on.”

Here is the game boxscore:

AT C.R. KENNEDY
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LINN-MAR (73): Ben Larson 1-3 0-0 2, Jon Schlotterback 3-3 0-0 6, Lane Halupnik 0-3 1-2 1, Nic Uhlir 8-14 5-5 25, Jordan Bohannon 5-9 6-6 19, Ryan Schmidt 1-4 2-2 4, Trevor Noble 3-3 2-2 8, Riley Murphy 1-3 0-0 3, Jordan Brandt 2-4 1-3 5, Griffin Brennecke 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 24-46 17-20 73.

C.R. KENNEDY (65): Drew Heitland 2-5 3-5 7, Cole Murdock 4-8 2-2 14, Derek Jacobus 1-3 3-4 5, Zach Daniels 2-7 0-0 6, A.J. Carter 8-14 3-3 19, John Bardsley 2-4 2-2 6, Bryton Heisler 3-3 0-0 6, Austin Holzer 1-3 0-0 2, Brandon Buck 0-0 0-0 0, Jai Bil 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 23-49 13-16 65.

Halftime – Linn-Mar 34, Kennedy 30. 3-point goals – Linn-Mar 8-22 (Larson 0-1, Halupnik 0-2, Uhlir 4-7, Bohannon 3-6, Murphy 1-4, Brandt 0-2), Kennedy 6-18 (Heitland 0-1, Murdock 4-8, Jacobus 0-1, Daniels 2-6, Bardsley 0-1, Bil 0-1). Rebounds – Linn-Mar 25 (Schmidt 6), Kennedy 24 (Bardsley 5). Total fouls – Linn-Mar 18, Kennedy 18. Fouled out – None. Turnovers – Linn-Mar 13, Kennedy 12.

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