Balanced Kennedy Girls Beat Linn-Mar, 74-41

By Jeff Linder, Reporter


By Aaron Hepker

CEDAR RAPIDS — File this in the doesn’t-happen-every-day folder.

In fact, Tony Vis wasn’t sure it had happened previously for one of his teams in his coaching career.

“Good question,” he said.

All five Cedar Rapids Kennedy players scored in double digits, led by Stephanie Botkin’s 17 points and Morgan Martin’s double-double, and the Class 5A ninth-ranked Cougars rattled Linn-Mar, 74-41, in a girls’ basketball game between the Mississippi Valley Conference foes Tuesday night at Kennedy High School.

“It was kind of fun,” Vis said. “The girls executed at a very high level. Like I told them at halftime, I felt whatever play I called, was going to work.”

Whatever play. Whatever player.

Botkin and Martin reached double-digits by halftime, and finished with 17 and 13 points, respectively. Martin also grabbed 13 rebounds.

Jordan Holmes splashed all three of her 3-points attempts in a 13-point outing. Madi Meier added 12 points and eight boards, and Paige Hendrickson tallied 11 points.

Hendrickson’s basket with 7:05 remainging enabled the Kennedy starters to complete the rare feat.

“We knew Linn-Mar was going to play with a lot of fight, so we were really focused,” Botkin said. “This will definitely boost our confidence. If we keep building, it’s going to be a great season.”

Kennedy improved to 5-0 heading into a showdown with No. 3 Waterloo West on Friday.

Tuesday’s game does not count in the MVC standings; the teams meet again Feb. 13 at Linn-Mar.

Linn-Mar (3-1) opened the scoring with a basket by Kristie Sommer, but the Cougars answered with eight straight points and pulled steadily away. Kennedy led 24-15 after one quarter, 43-27 at the half and 58-33 at the three-quatrer break.

“They’re such a good team anyway, and they played so well tonight in all aspects,” Linn-Mar Coach Mike Brandt said. “Their matchups are extremely tough. They have size, quickness, athletic ability …

“When you play a team with that kind of size, you have to shoot better from outside than we did (1 of 16 from 3-point range), and we didn’t rebound well enough.”

Kennedy posted a 38-28 advantage on the boards.

Sommer led the Lions with 16 points, and her twin Katie Sommer added 13. The twins moved to the Linn-Mar district from Dubuque Senior last summer.

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