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Linton-HMB Jamboree: Ranked Lions stroll past Squirrels

Linton-HMB's Josi Schwab, left, reaches for a loose ball in front of Central Cass' Delaney Cotton on Tuesday at the Jamestown Civic Center. John M. Steiner / The Sun1 / 2
M-P-B's Ryleigh Martin (25) finds herself surrounded by S-Z's Kasandra Hulm and Abby Scherr (14) on Tuesday at the Jamestown Civic Center. John M. Steiner / The Sun2 / 2

Summer Grove is currently making the most of her senior Class B girls basketball season with 10th-ranked Linton-HMB.

The only senior on a team of otherwise freshmen and sophomores, Grove missed her entire junior season with a torn ACL and meniscus in her right knee. The Lions, with Grove now in the starting lineup, improved to 13-1 Tuesday, Jan. 15, with a 70-35 victory over Central Cass in the annual Linton-HMB Jamboree at the Jamestown Civic Center.

"It's got its days, for sure," Grove said of her repaired knee. "I took a gym class at my school so I could try and work back some strength. I've been playing basketball since fourth grade ... it's something I love."

The Linton-HMB magic is back. Veteran coach Brian Flyberg returned from a seven-year retirement last season and led the Lions to 10 victores, but now with freshmen Teegan Scheer and JayCee Richter, and sophomores Erica Umber, Emily Kelsch and Precious Vetter, the Lions have won 13 of 14 to begin the winter, including victories over Hettinger-Scranton and Oakes.

Flyberg notched his 516th coaching victory with the win, having previously led the Lions to seven Region 3 championships between 1995-2006. His current pride is making the coach believe in the team's statewide media attention.

"For a long time I thought it was just a compliment for beating a good Hettinger team," Flyberg said. "But I just told them the last few games are starting to make me a believer that they're probably where they're supposed to be.

"They're from basketball families—they're sports families—and that helps a lot."

The Lions defended the entire court from the start, stacking up eight steals and forcing the Squirrels into 11 turnovers in the game's opening 8 minutes. L-HMB led 25-9 to start the second, receiving a successful 4-point play converted by Richter in the frame's closing seconds.

"That's our game is full-court press and up tempo," Flyberg said. "We're short, but we're quick. We're good basketball players and we tend to see the court. If we go to a half-court game it's a struggle for us."

The Lions forced seven more turnovers in the second and led 43-17 to begin the third. Scherr buried a pair of 3s and scored 13 of her 19 points in the first half. Umber, a 5-foot-9 center, scored 11 of her game-high 20, converting 7 of 8 at the foul line in the second.

Linton-HMB led by as many as 43 after the break and finished with 24 teams steals. Central Cass was held to less than 10 points in every quarter and was paced by freshman Jaylin Cottin's 9 points.

Linton-HMB's only setback to this point has been a 5-point loss at LaMoure-Litchville-Marion.

"They're outgoing yet. They haven't really hit their level of complete maturity, where they're just ready to go out and do what needs to get done," Grove said of her younger teammates. "I feel like we can definitely make it pretty far in regionals. And, if we can keep our mindset where we are we can probably go to state if we absolutely played our hardest."

The Lions shot close to 45 percent against the Squirrels and held the edge in rebounding by five. But there's always something at which to get better. The Lions, who last reached the state tournament in 2012 under former coach Pat Gerving, are at Ellendale on Thursday.

"We thought we had a little miscommunication on our 2-3 zone on the bottom of the defense, and were not boxing out quite the way we want to," Flyberg said. "But overall I was very pleased. I told them a 9.5 for tonight."

CC 76, LHMB 62

Linton-HMB senior Cole Baumiller said he plans to be back on the court in some capacity soon.

Then 6-foot-1 guard tore the ACL in his right knee 30 seconds into the season back on Dec. 7 facing Hettinger-Scranton. Baumiller said he received clearance to return to action this week, but he was still in a shirt and tie as the Lions (4-6) lost to Central Cass (5-4) by 14 at the Jamestown Civic Center.

The Squirrels unleashed 30 points on the Lions in the fourth quarter after leading just 46-44 after three. Christian Lietz and Josh Dixon each scored 18 points to lead the Squirrels, while sophomore Lucas Schumacher buried four 3-pointers and scored a game-high 30 for the Lions.

SZ 74, MPB 33

The Strasburg-Zeeland boys outpaced the Thunder 39-11 in the second half to cruise by 41 points. Hunter Haak and Alex Scherr led five Clippers in double-digit scoring with 15 points each.

S-Z led 14-10 after one quarter and used a 9-0 run to open the second to lead 35-22 at the break. M-P-B's Mike Thomas went 2 of 3 from 3-point range and scored 12 of the Thunder's 22 first-half points. He'd lead M-P-B with 14 points.

Mac Kramer began the third scoring a 3-pointer for the Clippers, who notched the first nine points of the second half, and the rout was on. M-P-B (0-9) is still searching for its first win of the season.

MPB 67, SZ 16

University of Jamestown women's basketball recruit Amanda Allen converted 6 of 10 attempts from beyond 3-point range, scoring 24 points and leading the Thunder to their eighth win of the season.

Linton-HMB Jamboree

Girls

Medina-Pingree-Buchanan 67, Strasburg-Zeeland 16

SZ 2 2 6 6 -- 16

MPB 28 17 14 8 -- 67

SZ—Madison Vander Vorst 6, Lily Haak 3, Kasandra Hulm 2, Shyla Haak 2, Shelby Vander Vorst 2, Abby Scherr 1. Totals: 7-30 FG, 1-6 FT, 26 Rebounds, 32 Turnovers, 7 Fouls. 3-pointers: Haak.

MPB—Amanda Allen 24, Megan Moser 11, Gracie Bohl 9, Allison Thomas 5, Dani Eissinger 4, Ryleigh Martin 4, Isabel Schmidt 4, Lilly Bohl 2, Abigail Reich 2, Gracie Gunderson 2. Totals: 28-59 FG, 3-5 FT, 25 Rebounds, 4 Turnovers, 6 Fouls. 3-pointers: Allen 6, Moser, Thomas.

Records: MPB 8-5. SZ 0-13.

(10) Linton-HMB 70, Central Cass 35

CC 9 8 9 9 -- 35

LHMB 24 19 18 9 -- 70

CC—Jaylin Cotton 9, Decontee Smith 6, Sara Larson 6, Ema Lee 5, Klaire Cotton 3, Greta Gibson 2, Lexi Buhr 2, Kailey McKinnon 1, Isabelle Linnard 1. Totals: 12-39 FG, 7-13 FT, 30 Rebounds, 27 Turnovers, 19 Fouls. 3-pointers: Larson 2, J. Cotton, K. Cotton.

L-HMB: Erica Umber 20, Teegan Scherr 19, JayCee Richter 8, Angie Vetter 7, Precious Vetter 5, Summer Grove 4, Emily Kelsch 3, Madi Ptacek 3, Taysia Aberle 1. Totals: 24-54 FG, 18-29 FT, 35 Rebounds, 12 Turnovers, 15 Fouls. 3-pointers: Scherr 2, Richter, Kelsch.

Records: LHMB 13-1. CC 4-7.

Boys

Strasburg-Zeeland 74, Medina-Pingree-Buchanan 33

SZ 14 21 21 18 -- 74

MPB 10 12 9 2 -- 33

SZ—Hunter Haak 15, Alex Scherr 15, Mac Kramer 13, Coleman Nieuwsma 10, Jake Wagner 10, Jordan Huizenga 7, Max Vander Vorste 2, Ben Hulm 2. Totals: 31-54 FG, 8-15 FT, 32 Rebounds, 9 Turnovers, 5 Fouls. 3-pointers: Kamer 3, Scherr.

MPB—Michael Thomas 14, Josh Moser 11, Aaron Huff 4, Bryson Tripp 2, Logan Reister 2. Totals: 14-41 FG, 2-2 FT, 18 Rebounds, 20 Turnovers, 10 Fouls. 3-pointers: Thomas 2, Moser.

Records: SZ 6-5. MPB 0-9.

Central Cass 76, Linton-HMB 62

CC 12 14 20 30 -- 76

LHMB 15 15 14 18 -- 62

CC—Christian Lietz 18, Josh Dixon 18, Max Kobbervig 15, Owen Warry 10, Zach Koetz 7, Devin Klingbeil 5, Jonah Lietz 3. Totals: 25-46 FG, 20-24 FT, 35 Rebounds, 15 Fouls. 3-pointers: Warrey 2, Kobbervig 2, Koetz, Klingbeil.

LHMB—Lucas Schumacher 30, Carter Renz 12, Paul McCrory 6, Michael Kramer 6, Parker Gerving 6, Ethan Tschosik 2. Totals 22-59 FG, 9-12 FT, 25 Rebound (Gerving 9), 14 Fouls. 3-pointers: Schumacher 4, Renz 3, Kramer 2.

Records: CC 5-4, LHMB 4-6.

Michael Savaloja

Hometown: Churchs Ferry, N.D.; College: North Dakota

A recipient of the NDHSCA Award of Merit, Savaloja has been reporting sports for The Sun since 2008.

Follow on Twitter: @MichaelSavaloja

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