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The Gazette KCRG
Posted February 24, 2014
Lynx get it right, rip Iowa Valley

TIFFIN — The “process” is complete. But the job is not finished.

Fifth-ranked North Linn discarded the bad taste of the last two girls’ basketball regional finals, blitzing Iowa Valley through the final three quarters and racing to the state tournament with a 67-34 triumph Monday night in front of a crowd of 1,000-plus at Clear Creek Amana High School.

“I’ve been thinking about this, dreaming about this for the last three or four years,” said all-state guard Nicole Miller. “When a team wants something so bad and it finally happens, it’s awesome.”

North LinnĀ (23-1) draws No. 12 South Central Calhoun (21-3) in a Class 2A quarterfinal at 8:30 Monday night at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines. It is the school’s first state bid since 1997.

“We’ll enjoy this a little longer than most wins,” said post Libby Falconer. “But when we get back in the gym to practice, we’re going to buckle down and get to work and start focusing on the next one.”

Four North Linn players reached double figures, and three of them (Miller, Falconer and Morgan Boer) posted double-doubles.

Iowa Valley retired at 20-3. The Tigers hung with the Lynx for 9 minutes, then an 18-1 North Linn avalanche caved in the Tigers’ hopes.

“We played well early, but in the second quarter, we took some bad shots and played out of character,” said Iowa Valley Coach John Bowlin. “We got kind of gassed, and they had other girls that stepped up.”

The Tigers led through the entire first quarter and took their final lead, 13-11, to open the second.

Then the Lynx got running and rolling. A four-point possession — Maddie Boer made the first of two free throws, missed the second, corralled a loose ball and fed Miller for a 3-pointer — ignited the pivotal wave.

North Linn owned a 29-14 lead before the Tigers could respond, and took a 31-18 advantage into the locker room.

It was 47-23 after three quarters, and the final period was a coronation.

Two years ago, the Lynx fell to West Marshall in the regional finals. Last year, Iowa City Regina edged them at the end.

All part of something Wheatley called “a process.”

“We were heartbroken two years in a row,” Falconer said. “We came in tonight, and we felt it was our time.”

Miller led the Lynx with 22 points, 10 rebounds, six assists and five steals. She was off the mark for much of the game, missing 14 of her first 17 shots from the floor.

It didn’t matter. Maddie Boer added 15 points. Falconer contributed 13 points and 10 rebounds. Morgan Boer registered 11 points and 10 boards.

“It was just a good team effort,” Maddie Boer said. “If you stick together, you’re going to win together. And tonight, we got it done.”

Jackie Kriegel led Iowa Valley with 12 points and 15 rebounds. But the Tigers shot just 20.3 percent from the field (12 of 59), missing all 12 of their shots from long distance.

The buzzer rang, and Lynx partook in the typical regional-final cluster-hug. They accepted their blue state-qualifier pennant and retreated to the locker room.

It was a different scene than they experienced a this level the past two years. But once again, Wheatley was at a loss for words.

“I thought I would have a great big speech for them, but I told them, ‘I got nothing. Go back out and enjoy this with your family and friends,’ ” he said.


Class 2A Regional Final, at Tiffin

IOWA VALLEY (34): Anna Herrmann 3-14 1-2 7, Anna Smith 0-4 0-0 0, Jackie Kriegel 4-13 4-9 12, Natalie Demmel 1-3 0-0 2, Marissa Ward 3-8 1-2 7, Lily Seye 1-12 4-7 6, Taylor Davis 0-4 0-0 0, Chandler Sims 0-0 0-0 0, Belle Hartman 0-0 0-0 0, Megan Sauerbrei 0-1 0-0 0, Taylor Snook 0-0 0-0 0, Skye Starkweather 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 12-59 10-20 34.

NORTH LINN (67): Maddie Boer 5-9 4-5 15, Nicole Miller 7-21 7-8 22, Brooke Dobney 0-2 2-5 2, Morgan Boer 2-9 6-8 11, Libby Falconer 6-9 1-1 13, Makayla Dobney 0-1 2-4 2, Katie Kurt 0-3 0-1 0, Kayla Carrothers 0-0 0-0 0, Taylor Burke 0-0 2-2 2, Jackie Falconer 0-0 0-0 0, Rachel Supple 0-0 0-0 0, Natalie Dudley 0-0 0-0 0, Taylor Bistline 0-0 0-0 0, Jessica Rechkemmer 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 20-54 24-36 67.

Halftime: North Linn 31, Iowa Valley 18. 3-point goals: Iowa Valley 0-12 (Herrmann 0-3, Smith 0-4, Seye 0-3, Davis 0-1, Sauerbrei 0-1), North Linn 3-13 (Mad.Boer 1-2, Miller 1-7, Mo.Boer 1-2, Kurt 0-2). Team fouls: Iowa Valley 25, North Linn 17. Fouled out: Smith, Seye. Rebounds: Iowa Valley 43 (Kriegel 15), North Linn 50 (Miller, Mo.Boer, L.Falconer 10). Assists: Iowa Valley 1 (Herrmann), North Linn 10 (Miller 6). Steals: Iowa Valley 12 (Herrmann, Smith 3), North Linn 16 (Miller 5). Turnovers: Iowa Valley 21, North Linn 17.



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