Twins Grace and Abby Flanagan helped North Linn win a state championship in softball last summer. Now they're playing a big role in keeping the Lynx in the running for a basketball title.
Grace, the softball catcher, scored 15 points and Abby, the pitcher, had the tying and go-ahead baskets in the fourth quarter as third-seeded North Linn rallied to beat Western Christian 49-44 to complete the quarterfinal round in Class 2A.
North Linn led by as many as nine points in the first half before falling behind in third quarter. With sixth-seeded Western Christian leading 38-34 early in the fourth quarter, North Linn's Ellie Ware followed up her own miss for a basket and Abby stole the ball and took it in for a layup to tie it at 38. Then, after Grace rebounded a Western Christian miss, she fed her sister on the wing and Abby drilled a 3-pointer for a 41-38 lead and the Lynx stayed ahead the rest of the way. Ware got two more buckets inside, the second on nice bounce pass from Grace Flanagan, and sank two free throws to keep her team in control.
Ware finished with 11 points and 10 rebounds and Sydney Burke scored 10 for the Lynx. Abby Flanagan got into foul trouble and her two big shots in the fourth quarter were her only points.
Western Christian's Olivia Granstra scored 10 points in the third quarter to help pull her team into the lead and finished with 20. She also had eight rebounds, five assists and three steals. Macay Vant Hul added 10 points and eight rebounds for the Wolverines, who managed just one field goal in the fourth quarter until Granstra made a couple of uncontested layups in the closing seconds.
North Linn, enjoying its 10th straight 20-win season, will take a 23-2 record against second-seeded West Hancock in a semifinal game at 11:45 a.m. Friday. Western Christian, a five-time state champion, finishes 17-8.