Boys’ basketball notebook: Davis Kern is the next one at Linn-Mar

Linn-Mar Lions forward Davis Kern (22) shoves the ball at Aidan Yamilkoski (23) during the first quarter of play at Linn-Mar High School in Marion, Iowa, Friday, December 9, 2022 Xavier Saints over. (Savannah Blake /The Newspaper)

MARION – Chris Robertson has dealt with quite a number of college coaches over the years, which is the field when you’ve managed a successful high school basketball program for a while and have players that those colleges want to recruit.

Go up and down the list of Division I guys Robertson had in his career: the Bohannon brothers, Marcus Paige, Matt Lassen, Grant Gibbs, Jordan Printy, Nate Hutcheson, Trey Hutcheson…etc.etc.

His next is Davis Kern. The 6-foot-8 sophomore already has offers from northern Iowa and the state of South Dakota, and rest assured any improvements in his game will be noticed by a ton more schools.

“He’s just going to keep getting better,” Robertson said. “He can shoot out the daylight, he’s a great shot. He needs to get better around the basket and he will as he gets stronger and catches up athletically. But he jumped much better this year. He can go to the edge, which sometimes surprises people I think. The nice thing for us is that he can protect the basket. It’s long and does a pretty good job of not getting dirty.

“I love him. He’s a great kid.”

Kern has practically doubled his scoring average from last season and ranks third in the Mississippi Valley Conference with 19.1 points per game. His game has expanded as he can sometimes use the dribbling drive to keep up with posting inside and shooting the 3-pointer.

he matures.

“Just tons more confidence,” Kern said. “Last year I would like to say that I was a bit more of a role player at times. I just played my part: catch and shoot, post. This year I had a lot more confidence to just take shots and attack the rim. Just in my shooting overall.”

Another thing that should help Kern grow, which he may still be doing physically, is the extra attention he gets from opposing teams. They know he’s Linn-Mar’s “guy” and try to narrow him down as much as possible.

It’s not easy, especially when you’re a sophomore.

“You look at him and he’s strong,” Robertson said. “He’s not a really skinny 6-8. I think the biggest credit for him is learning that all our opponents’ scouting reports are pointing at him where last year you had to guard other guys and he was a marksman. Now we go in to him and he is a focus. He’s learning to deal with it and it’s not easy.”

It was a good winter for the Kern family. Not only is Davis doing his thing for the Linn-Mar boys, but his sister Dreya, who is just a freshman, is an important part of the Lions girls team.

Davis just smiled when asked who the better player was.

“I don’t know,” he said diplomatically. “She’s also a good football player and I don’t think I get close to her in football. But she plays well (in basketball). She gains more confidence with every game.”

Around the tire

– Mount Vernon has pulled off two significant upsets in Class 3A just six days apart.

The Mustangs went to Cedar Rapids Xavier a week ago Tuesday (Jan. 24) and knocked off the then-runners-up Saints, 66-65, in the last second. Monday night Mount Vernon beat third-placed Marion 65-52 at home, behind 19 points by Jensen Meeker and 17 by Brady Erickson.

– The Iowa High School Athletic Association is expected to release postseason brackets for Classes 1A and 2A next week. Teams in Classes 2A and 3A still have a week to impress as their postseason brackets won’t be released until the week of February 13th.

The IHSAA weekly rankings, made for the first time this season, serve as a guide of sorts for compiling brackets, but geography still plays a big part.

– MFL/Mar-Mac completed the Upper Iowa Conference Championship. Keota won the division title in the South Iowa Cedar League East.

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