MARION – Chris Robertson just couldn't answer the bell Tuesday night. The flu bug can take a bite out of the toughest of guys.
The Linn-Mar boys' basketball coach missed his team's home game against Dubuque Senior, "missed" being a relative term, in this case.
Robertson actually didn't miss much of anything, other than a 66-41 beatdown at the hands of Class 4A's third-ranked team. He doesn't need to view videotape of this one, certainly doesn't need to read anything about it.
"They are a very good team," said acting coach Joe Nietert, who dealt with his case of the flu Monday.
Yeah, that's a fair statement. The Rams (4-0) have all kinds of size and length up front and a 6-foot-7 point guard headed to the Ivy League who is one of the better players around.
Kyle Haber scored a game-high 23 points, making 10 of 13 shots from the field, including three of four treys. The Brown commit has been a wing player throughout his three-year varsity career but has made a seamless transition to the '1' position.
"He's our glue, there's no doubt," said Senior Coach Wendell Eimers. "He's never played point before, but this year, we made the switch and put him there. I think he has really embraced it and is really enjoying it. It's just fun to see him perform as well as he is."
"Haber is good, better than he looks on tape," Nietert said. "He's so smart, uses his body so well."
Senior put an end to this one early, rolling to a 20-4 lead after a quarter. The Rams made their first nine shots from the field and held Linn-Mar (2-3) without a field goal.
The Lions were 0 of 16, unable to get clean looks from the perimeter and obviously intimidated on the interior by the presence of Haber, 6-foot-9 Luke McDonnell, 6-9 Seth Bonifas and beefy 6-5 Lucas LeGrand (an Iowa football commit).
"We knew we had to get off to a quick start," Haber said. "They are a 3-point shooting team, and we wanted to close out high defensively. Not necessarily try to let them go to the basket, but focusing on stopping the 3 ... I thought we did really well early with that. It just worked."
"We did a great job of preparing," Eimers said. "We stuck to the game plan about as well as we could have that first half. It helps when we're hitting shots. I thought our shots were shots that we need to be taking. Kyle Haber and Seth Bonifas, those two probably couldn't have played any better than they played tonight."
Bonifas, a D-I Missouri Western signee who was offered a scholarship by Iowa at one point, scored 14 points and had eight rebounds, making all seven of his field-goal attempts. McDonnell had a double-double of 14 points and 10 boards.
Linn-Mar's guard tandem of Jordan Bohannon and Nic Uhlir came in averaging 17 points each but were held in check to the tune of 12 and four points, respectively. They combined to make just 5 of 26 shots.
The Lions shot just 22 percent, Senior 62 percent. That's all you need to know.
"We let their length get to us early," Nietert said. "We didn't take shots we normally take. We finally got settled down there, but it was too late."
"I think a big difference is we are a very senior-dominated team, and Linn-Mar is a very, very good team but young," Eimers said. "I thought that showed as the game went on. Our kids just really played well. I'm very proud of them."
Read more: http://iowaprepsports.com/2013/12/17/early-blitz-helps-lift-dubuque-senior-past-linn-mar/#ixzz2nnbuo6kn