Lions moving on after big second half

By: Whitney Blakemore

MARION — The Linn-Mar girls' basketball team lived to see another day in postseason play after last night's 46-37 win over Iowa City West in a Class 5A regional semifinal.

Linn-Mar was just 2 of 9 from the 3-point line in the first half, but it was the five baskets from behind the arc from senior sisters Katie and Kristie Sommer in the final two quarters that ultimately clinched the game for the Lions.

"The biggest key to this game was just the girls relaxing," Linn-Mar Coach Michael Brandt said. "I think we rushed our shot a lot in the first half. We got great looks, but we needed to just relax and run within our offense. I was really happy with that."

Katie posted a team-high 14 points for the Lions and senior Aryn Jones and Kristie Sommer added 10 and 9 points, respectively.

Iowa City West took an early 7-0 lead in the second quarter and finished the half leading 23-18, shooting at 68 percent. But Linn-Mar turned it around in the second half.

"We had our chances in the second half," West Coach B.J. Mayer said. "We were leading going into the break and then we only scored 14 points in the second half and that was really hard."

The Lions needed some motivation in the second half.

"In the locker room (at halftime) we were picking each other up and motivating each other," Katie Sommer said. "We came out at half, and we followed through with our shots. We just didn't want our season to end."

Linn-Mar advances to the regional finals where it will face the Waukee Warriors (19-3) on Tuesday in Marshalltown.
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