Cedar Rapids, Iowa News, Sports, and Weather
MARION, Iowa -- Bill McTaggart understands the correlation.
"The more we win, the better draw we get," he said.
And with time ticking toward the girls' basketball version of "Selection Monday," Iowa City High is making a major push.
The Class 5A sixth-ranked Little Hawks flattened Linn-Mar with a 22-0 first-half run and coasted to a 60-32 Mississippi Valley Conference victory Friday night at Linn-Mar High School.
City High won its sixth straight game and continued to push toward a favorable draw once the regional pairings are released Jan. 21 by the Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union.
The Little Hawks (13-2 overall, 6-1 MVC) are rolling, even with one eye doing a little scoreboard-watching.
"We already knew that (No. 4) Southeast Polk had lost (earlier Friday)," said guard Mickey Hansche. "That helps a little bit. We know we can help ourselves out a lot by winning until the brackets come out. We play (Cedar Rapids) Kennedy next week, and we really need that one."
City High took the drama out of this one quickly and decisively. Linn-Mar (6-8, 4-4) led, 5-4, about three minutes in. Nine minutes later, the Little Hawks were in firm command, 26-5.
It was 34-9 at halftime.
"They're a good team," Linn-Mar Coach Mike Brandt said. "They're a very good team. They have a lot of weapons, and they play such good defense with a great presence inside."
That would be junior Haley Lorenzen, who committed a week ago to play at the University of Florida. Lorenzen nearly had a double-double by halftime, and finished with 18 points and 11 rebounds.
Hansche added 18 points of her own, and each of the City starters had at least five rebounds as the Little Hawks built a 50-33 rebounding advantage.
"We took care of the glass, and I think we defended well," McTaggart said. "I think when we switched presses, it kept them off balance. And it helped a little bit that they were cold tonight."
Linn-Mar shot 22.2 percent from the floor (12 of 54).
The Lions did have a strong stretch in the third quarter and closed within 38-23 before the Little Hawks re-established control.
Mykaela Brandt and Alexis Libenguth led the Lions with eight points apiece.