Top Ranked Linn-Mar and Cedar Rapids Kennedy Advance at the Girls - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Top Ranked Linn-Mar and Cedar Rapids Kennedy Advance at the Girls State Basketball Tournament


Top-ranked Linn-Mar showed there's more to its team than star center Kia Stokes in a first-round victory over Johnston.


   Stokes scored 17 points, grabbed 13 rebounds and blocked two shots as the Lions remained unbeaten with 60-38 victory over Johnston on Wednesday in the opening game of the Class 4A tournament.


   But when Stokes wasn't scoring much early in the game, the Lions still took control because her teammates picked up the slack. Midway through the second quarter, Stokes had only three points, but Linn-Mar led 27-14, thanks to a 10-0 run that included 3-pointers by DJ Norman and Kayla Klopfenstein.


   When the Lions ran off 11 straight points in the first quarter, a different player made each of the five baskets in that spurt.


   Linn-Mar led 31-18 at halftime and stayed in front by double digits the rest of the way.

   Norman finished with 14 points, Klopfenstein scored 11 and reserve Kailee Karr added eight. Linn-Mar shot 56 percent overall, including 5-for-7 from 3-point range.


   Emily Parker, Johnston's 6-foot-2 junior center, held her own against Stokes and finished with 15 points and seven rebounds. Jennifer Ross scored 10 points and made three steals for the Dragons.


   Linn-Mar, in the state tournament for the fourth time in five years, takes a 24-0 record into a semifinal game at noon on Friday. It's the third straight year the Lions have reached the semis.


   Johnston, which upset eighth-ranked Dowling Catholic in regional play, finishes 15-10.

With the game slipping away, Cedar Rapids Kennedy looked to Jade Rogers and the Cougars' season-long star delivered.


   Rogers scored eight points during a three-minute stretch that got Kennedy back in the game and the fifth-ranked Cougars beat No. 4 Ankeny 46-44 on Wednesday to reach the Class 4A semifinals.


   They'll play again at noon on Friday and will see a familiar foe -- Mississippi Valley Conference rival Linn-Mar. Kennedy lost to the top-ranked Lions 62-49 during the regular season.


   Rogers finished with 14 points and 12 rebounds to lead Kennedy, which improves to 21-2. Laura Boenish added 10 points and five assists for the Cougars, while Haley Brightwell scored seven points.


   Maddie Manning led Ankeny with 11 points and eight rebounds. She also blocked four shots and made three steals. Rheanna Egli scored 10 points for the Hawks, while Shayla Starkenburg and Krista Pettepier each had nine.


   Ankeny led 39-32 when Starkenburg followed up her own miss with 6:21 left. But the Cougars contained the Hawks down the stretch and clawed back in it, thanks mainly to Rogers.


   The 5-foot-11 University of Iowa recruit scored eight straight Kennedy points on a 3-pointer, a free throw, a baseline jumper and a layup, pulling the Cougars into a 40-40 tie. A layup by Boenish put Kennedy ahead 42-40, but Ankeny quickly tied it in Egli's jumper.


   Brightwell then beat the Hawks down the floor for a layup that she turned into a three-point play, making it 45-42, and the Cougars held on, surviving a missed free throw and a turnover in the final 1:14.


   Ankeny, in the state tournament for the 23rd time, finishes 21-3.




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