Boys Basketball: Uhlir Lifts Linn-Mar Past Kennedy
By Jeff Johnson, Reporter
MARION, Iowa Uhlir, Uhlir ...
Linn-Mar guard Nic Uhlir certainly won't nderstand that movie reference. He's just a kid, for crying out loud, a baby faced sophomore who likely has never seen "Ferris Bueller's Day Off."
And it was way more like "Uhlir! Uhlir!" last night, anyway.
"I got some open shots and knocked them in," he said, matter of factly, after Linn-Mar 57-42 win last night over Cedar Rapids Kennedy. "I like shooting 3s."
The statistics show that.
Uhlir – whose last name is pronounced "you-lurr" – came into this game having taken 55 shots from the field this season, 45 of them from distance. Last night, he took seven shots, five from 3-point land.
He made four and finished with a team-best 16 points off the bench. In Linn-Mar's previous game Tuesday night against Dubuque Wahlert, he had five treys and 17 points.
The kid is hot. Uhlir! Uhlir!
"He's shooting it well," said Linn-Mar Coach Chris Robertson. "He knows how to play. Sometimes those little guys know how to find angles, know how to use their body. He's smart, and he's fearless."
"It's been a lot different than sophomore ball," said Uhlir, listed at 5-foot-10. "Last year, I played sophomore, and it's way more aggressive, way more physical up here. But it's kind of like AAU in the summers, playing those inner-city teams. I think that prepares you for this type of play."
Though Cedar Rapids Washington is the hottest team in town with four straight wins, Linn-Mar is the Metro's best team again. The Lions have won nine of 11, and there's no questin are peaking at the right time.
They beat Kennedy (10-8) for the second time in a little over a week with a workmanlike performance that saw them lead wire to wire.
"We're trying to get there," said Linn-Mar's Matt Lassen, who added 12 points. "It's been up in the air, but we're just trying to come together ... stay the best team in town, as Linn-Mar has been."
Ben Struss had 10 points for Kennedy, which has lost five of six and appears to be searching for a late-season identity. These teams played last Tuesday at Kennedy, with Linn-Mar shooting 70-plus percent in a 70-50 win.
"We knew this was going to be a different game," Robertson said. "The one thing I thought we did all night was defend well. We're playing well. Our hope is just to keep it going. I like this group."