Marcus Paige scored 23 points and Josh Montague added 13 as Linn-Mar defeated host Waukee, 64-52. In front of a large crowd, with ISU coach Fred Hoiberg and Kansas coach Bill Self in attendance, Linn-Mar pulled away in the 2nd quarter and never trailed after being tied 10-10 after the first stanza. Waukee’s Judd Welfringer was the Warriors’ leading scorer with 25 points, including 4 3-pointers. It was Welfringer’s first game, after transferring from Arizona during the summer.
Hoiberg and Self were there to scout Paige, who is being recruited by several other major programs. Welfringer is being recruited by Drake. He was an all-stater in Arizona.
Thoughts: The Lions started out slow, but found their groove in the second quarter. Being that this was the season opener, both teams had a tough time finding the hoop early on. Waukee tried to slow things down on offense, but Linn-Mar started applying pressure on defense to force the Warriors to make bad shots. On offense, the Lions worked their game plan with good passing and setting up shots from the perimeter for Paige, Montague, and Shane Benton, who scored all 11 of his points in the second half. That also opened up the lane as well for coach Chris Robertson’s crew.
Paige’s jumper looked effortless and smooth from the outside. He could have camped out all day from 15+ feet and score every time.
Shane Gogg, the 6’7″ sophomore for L-M, scored only 4 points, but looked and played more active than Waukee’s big men, who struggled to finish plays in the lane. Jordan Stotts (6’7″ F Jr.) finished with 5 points and Matt Roling (6’6 C Sr.) scored 4 markers.
It’s only the first game of the season, with that said, Linn-Mar picked up a good road win against a team that can compete in the CIML-Iowa Conference, if their big guys can muscle up and clean up on the boards. Finding another guy besides Welfringer to score wouldn’t hurt either. There is a lot of promise and talent around Welfringer. The Lions were active around the hoop for offensive and defensive rebounds.
A few sideline bits: When Hoiberg walked into the gym with his wife, the Waukee student section didn’t hesitate by shouting “Freddy, Freddy, Freddy” in his direction. Hoiberg stops and waves to the section. They did the same when Bill Self arrived, by chanting “Rock, Chalk, Jayhawk” and “Bill Self, Bill Self!” Self cracked a smile and shook his head in amazement.
The Linn-Mar fans got a good chuckle when Paige was on the free throw line. The Warriors students started chanting “Ashton” and “Demi”, as a reminder of the minor NCAA violation that embroiled when the couple met Paige and Josh Oglesby at the UI-ISU football game in September.
The Mayor was sitting in the Linn-Mar section for the entire game, as Self stood by the wall behind the north basket near the Linn-Mar bench. At halftime, Hoiberg strolls over and chats up Self until the start of the 3rd quarter.