Johnston wound up No. 1 in the final rankings. On Saturday night, the Dragons will try to finish in that spot on the court at the 2016 Iowa High School Girls State Basketball Tournament in neighboring Des Moines.

Johnston built a comfortable lead early and went on to beat sixth-ranked Linn-Mar 51-39 in the Class 5A semifinals.

The trio of Taryn Knuth, Rachel Hinders and Elle Brown gave the Dragons everything they needed -- scoring, rebounding and ball handling -- and more than offset another strong game inside from Linn-Mar's Amanda Ollinger.

Johnston improved to 22-3 with its 14th straight victory and will try to win its first state championship at 8 p.m. Saturday.

Knuth, a 6-foot-4 junior who has committed to Florida State for volleyball, led the Dragons with 14 points, grabbed nine rebounds and blocked three shots. Brown, a junior who has committed to Missouri for basketball, scored 12 points and Hinders, a 5-11 senior, added 11 points and 11 rebounds.

University of Iowa recruit Amanda Ollinger led Linn-Mar with 17 points and 16 rebounds and sophomore Kamryn Finley scored nine points. Ollinger grabbed 38 rebounds in her two games at state, breaking the 5A record of 35 set last year by Waukee's Reilly Jacobson in three games.

Linn-Mar had raced to a 20-point halftime lead in a quarterfinal victory over Indianola, but by the time the Lions got going in this one, Johnston led by 19. A 14-4 run cut the lead to 40-28 by the end of the third quarter, and the Lions twice got to within 10 points in the fourth quarter, the last time at 42-32 when Finley scored on a nice spin move to the basket.

Johnston countered with five straight free throws to regain the momentum and was safely ahead the rest of the way.

The loss was just the second in the last 12 games for Linn-Mar, which finished 19-5.

Story Courtesy of IGHSAU


Johnston vs Linn-Mar
3/4/16 1:30 PM at Wells Fargo Arena, Des Moines, IA

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
VISITORS: Johnston 22-3
                          TOT-FG  3-PT         REBOUNDS
## Player Name            FG-FGA FG-FGA FT-FTA OF DE TOT PF  TP  A TO BLK S MIN
12 Brown, Elle......... *  4-13   1-2    3-5    0  1  1   0  12  2  0  1  1  29
20 Towers, Haylee...... *  1-1    1-1    0-0    0  2  2   0   3  1  1  0  0  21
22 Stubbs, Shayna...... *  1-4    0-0    3-4    1  2  3   3   5  2  2  0  2  19
42 Hinders, Rachel..... *  4-7    0-2    3-4    3  8 11   0  11  0  1  0  0  31
44 Knuth, Taryn........ *  6-14   1-1    1-2    2  7  9   2  14  0  0  3  0  32
04 Sieren, Paige.......    1-2    1-2    2-2    0  1  1   0   5  1  1  1  0  11
10 Wilmes, Brooke......    0-0    0-0    0-0    0  1  1   0   0  1  0  0  0  10
34 Johnson, Jennah.....    0-2    0-0    1-2    0  1  1   1   1  1  0  0  1   7
   TEAM................                         3  2  5
   Totals..............   17-43   4-8   13-19   9 25 34   6  51  8  5  5  4 160

TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 10-27 37.0%   2nd Half:  7-16 43.8%   Game: 39.5%  DEADB
3-Pt. FG% 1st Half:  3-7  42.9%   2nd Half:  1-1  100 %   Game: 50.0%   REBS
F Throw % 1st Half:  4-6  66.7%   2nd Half:  9-13 69.2%   Game: 68.4%    2

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
HOME TEAM: Linn-Mar 20-5
                          TOT-FG  3-PT         REBOUNDS
## Player Name            FG-FGA FG-FGA FT-FTA OF DE TOT PF  TP  A TO BLK S MIN
15 Akers, Alie......... *  0-0    0-0    0-0    2  0  2   1   0  0  0  0  0  12
20 Frese, Lexi......... *  3-7    0-1    0-0    2  2  4   4   6  0  0  1  0  26
21 Lancial, Brittney... *  1-2    1-1    0-0    0  0  0   0   3  0  1  0  0  16
32 Finley, Kamryn...... *  3-13   1-7    2-2    2  1  3   4   9  4  2  0  0  28
43 Ollinger, Amanda.... *  7-22   1-6    2-2    4 12 16   2  17  1  2  3  2  32
10 Johnson, Ally.......    0-3    0-3    1-2    0  2  2   1   1  1  2  0  0  21
24 Murphy, Megan.......    0-1    0-1    0-0    0  1  1   0   0  0  0  0  0   9
30 Spies, Carly........    1-1    0-0    1-1    1  0  1   0   3  0  0  0  0   2
40 Larson, Claire......    0-3    0-2    0-0    1  1  2   3   0  0  0  0  1  14
   TEAM................                            2  2
   Totals..............   15-52   3-21   6-7   12 21 33  15  39  6  7  4  3 160

TOTAL FG% 1st Half:  6-32 18.8%   2nd Half:  9-20 45.0%   Game: 28.8%  DEADB
3-Pt. FG% 1st Half:  1-10 10.0%   2nd Half:  2-11 18.2%   Game: 14.3%   REBS
F Throw % 1st Half:  1-1  100 %   2nd Half:  5-6  83.3%   Game: 85.7%    1

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Officials: Gabe Rittman, Rich Choponis, Scott Koch
Technical fouls: Johnston-None. Linn-Mar-None.
Attendance:
Score by Periods                1st  2nd  3rd  4th   Total
Johnston......................   16   11   13   11  -   51
Linn-Mar......................    7    7   14   11  -   39