Linton-HMB cruises past short-handed Imperials
Four Linton-HMB players scored in double figures and the Lions coasted to a 69-40 victory over short-handed Napoleon in Linton on Jan. 15. The Lions improved to 9-3 overall and 5-1 in District 6 with the victory, while Napoleon fell to 1-4 in the district and 4-7 overall with the loss.
Napoleon has been hit hard by injuries this season, and illnesses have also set in, compelling the Imperials to suit up just seven players for its varsity squad on this night. Napoleon was deadly from three-point range all night, and the Imperials were able to hang in the game in the early going, but Brooks Flyberg and Andrew Small each hit threepointers to lead a 14-3 run by Linton-HMB over the final 3:45 of the opening period. All of Napoleon’s scoring in the period came on threepointers, and Linton-HMB held an 18-9 advantage at the end of the frame.
Napoleon could draw no closer than 8 points the rest of the half, and the Imperials were shut out over the final 4:05 of the second period. Meanwhile, Linton-HMB scored 8 unanswered points over the final 2:45 of the half to open up a 34-16 cushion at the break. Flyberg scored 10 points, while Small and Ryan Schneider netted 7 points apiece to lead Linton-HMB’s first-half scoring attack.
The teams exchanged runs in odd fashion during the third period, but the quarter ended with Linton-HMB firmly in control. Baskets by Mason Ryckman and Tyler Humann extended the Lion’s lead to 38-16, but Napoleon hit three 3-pointers and ripped off 13 unanswered points in a 2:30 span to cut the lead to 38-29 with 4:11 left in the quarter.
However, the Imperials misfired on their final 8 field goal attempts and went scoreless over the remainder of the period, while Linton-HMB closed out the frame with a 15-0 run to build a comfortable, 53-29 cushion heading into the final period. Cole Breidenbach’s three-pointer to start the fourth quarter marked the closest margin (21 pts.) the game would get the rest of the way.
Linton-HMB hit on just 26 of 61 (43%) field goals, including an 8 of 24 (33%) showing from behind the arc, but the Lions sank 9 of 12 (75%) free throws, committed just 10 turnovers, and held a 35- 22 advantage on the boards, including a 16-4 advantage in offensive rebounds. Napoleon connected on over half (9 of 17) of its three-point attempts in the game, but the Imperials shot just 20 percent (5 of 25) from inside the arc, and they turned the ball over 24 times in the contest.
Small hit four 3-pointers and led Linton-HMB with 16 points, while Ryckman tallied 14 points, 3 rebounds and 3 steals, and Schneider scored 11 points, dished out 4 assists and grabbed a game-high 12 rebounds. Flyberg netted 10 points, 3 steals and a pair of assists, and Jon Purintun and Travis Baumiller handed out 7 and 6 assists, respectively, for the Lions. Trent Fettig sank five 3-pointers on his way to a game-high 17 points for Napoleon.
Napoleon: Trent Fettig 17, Dylan A. Bitz 6, Cole Breidenbach 5, Matthew Feist 5, Bryce Fettig 5, Dylan C. Bitz 2. Three-point FG (9-17): T. Fettig 5, D.A. Bitz 1, Breidenbach 1, Feist 1, B. Fettig 1.
Linton-HMB:Andrew Small 16, Mason Ryckman 14, Ryan Schneider 11, Brooks Flyberg 10, Jon Purintun 5,Austin Bernhardt 4, Tyler Humann 4, Erik Holzer 3, Travis Baumiller 2. Three-point FG (8-24): Small 4, Flyberg 2, Purintun 1, Holzer 1.