Wildcats go 2-1 in a hectic week of play

Posted 2/15/23

Linn played three games on the road last week and won two.

“This week was a wild one,” said Coach Braden Ham, his team playing at Russellville on Tuesday, St. Elizabeth on Thursday, …

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Wildcats go 2-1 in a hectic week of play


Linn played three games on the road last week and won two.

“This week was a wild one,” said Coach Braden Ham, his team playing at Russellville on Tuesday, St. Elizabeth on Thursday, and wrapping up the week at Chamois on Friday.

“This season has been unique because we’ve played on our opponent’s senior night three times, twice this week at Russellville and St. E,” said Coach Ham. “We had guys step up in big ways for us all week in various ways. We fought and competed for each other in the front of every moment this week.”

Against Russellville, Linn lost a double-OT thriller 90-88.

“We had players step up on both ends of the floor,” said Ham. “We lived and competed in the moment. We were unbelievably proud of our guys. What they gave, how they handled the ups and downs, and how they represented Linn.”

Linn shot 50% from the floor, covering 11-22 from three-point range and 21-35 from the line.

In a battle from start to finish, Linn won the first quarter 20-16 and led 35-33 at the break. The Wildcats extended their lead to eight by the start of the fourth, but the Indians were not deterred, erasing the deficit with a 20-13 edge in the frame.

Each team scored 11 in the first overtime, and Russellville won the final OT period 12-10.     

Noah Hall went 8-12 from three-point range and 8-9 at the FT line as he posted a game-high 34 points to go with 10 rebounds.

Zach Hatfield was 3-5 at the stripe and scored 17 as Zach Dodson (3-4 FT) posted 15, and Austin Dudenhoeffer finished with 10. Ashton Keilholz added two treys and finished with eight points, Gus Peters (trey) finished with three, and Bobby Winkelman posted one.

Dodson’s six assists led the team as Keilholz added four, Hall posted three, Hatfield had two, and Peters and Dudenhoeffer counted one apiece.

Dodson also had a double-double with 11 rebounds, and Dudenhoeffer grabbed five, followed by Hatfield (3), Keilholz (2), and Peters and Winkelman (1 each).

Dudenhoeffer finished with three steals, and Hatfield and Dodson each counted one.

Linn spoiled St. Elizabeth’s senior night on Thursday with a 54-45 win.

“Every year, they are big, physical, and have kids that can play,” said Ham. “We defended with urgency and intensity for four quarters. Defense is what won us that game.”

Linn amassed a 30-24 halftime lead and maintained through the second half for the win, shooting 50% from the field. The Wildcats went 6-11 from three-point range and 10-18 from the line.

Hall had another solid night, hitting four three-pointers and going 2-2 at the line for 20 points. Dodson added 12, followed by Seth Wolfe (6), Keilholz (trey, 5), Hatfield and Dudenhoeffer (4 each), and Peters (trey, 3). Several players recorded assists, with four each by Hatfield and Wolfe leading the way. Dudenhoeffer posted three, Keilholz added two, and Peters and Dodson finished with one apiece.

Hall and Wolfe co-led the rebounding attack with six each as Keilholz posted five, followed by Dodson (3), Hatfield (2), and Dudenhoeffer and Peters (1 each).

Hatfield and Wolfe each finished with two steals and a block. Hall led with five steals, with Peters, Keilholz, and Dudenhoeffer adding one apiece.

On Friday, the Wildcats defeated the Pirates on their Homecoming, 59-29.

“Coach (Robbie) Bates does a great job with those kids because they play really hard and don’t stop competing,” said Ham.

Linn opened with a 22-5 first-quarter lead and expanded it to 32-13 at intermission.

All told, the Wildcats shot 57.9%, the best of the week, with a 7-14 performance from long range and an 8-11 mark at the line.

Hall again led the team in scoring with 16, including three treys, while Dodson (5-5 FT) added 15, Wolfe (2-2 FT) put in 12, Keilholz (3-5 3PT) scored nine, Hatfield (trey) added five, and Dudenhoeffer posted two. Keilholz led with five assists, followed by Hatfield, Wolfe, and Hall, each of whom had three, and Dodson and Dudenhoeffer, each with one.

Wolfe paced the team with nine rebounds, and Ashton collected seven, followed by Hatfield and Dodson (3 each), and Hall, Dudenhoeffer, and Winkelman (1 apiece).

Defensively, the Wildcats had more blocks than steals, 7-6, as Hatfield, Hall, and Dodson swatted two apiece, and Wolfe had another. In the steals department, Hatfield posted two, and Dodson, Wolfe, Dudenhoeffer, and Hall had one apiece.


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