After leading her team in every statistical category and ranking in the top 10 in the Pride of Iowa Conference in those statistical categories, Central Decatur junior Hallie Linhart was named to the Iowa Newspaper Association's all-state third team as a utility player, announced Tuesday.
The INA all-state teams are selected by a panel of Iowa sportswriters, with assistance from the Iowa Basketball Coaches Association.
Linhart earned the final position on the Class 2A all-state team with her selection as a utility player.
The 5-9 Central Decatur junior proved just how important she was to the Cardinals this year by leading the team in every statistical category.
She finished the year averaging 17.9 points and 7.5 rebounds per game to go with 62 assists, 68 steals and 23 blocked shots.
Her scoring averaged ranked second in the Pride of Iowa Conference behind Pleasantville's Kennedy Core and 16th in Class 2A.
To have that big of an impact in all areas of the game speaks to the versatility Linhart brings to the Central Decatur lineup.
"That's her ability to do everything on the floor for us," Central Decatur head coach Curtis Boothe said. "It's not like she takes a play off. We were definitely a different team if she was in foul trouble. She made us go when she was in her groove playing. I think that's why we had the success we had this year."
Central Decatur won the outright POI Conference championship this year and advanced to the regional semifinals — one step further than the Cardinals made it last year.
It's that versatility along with her competitiveness that makes her a standout athlete on the basketball floor, Boothe said.
"She's so competitive, she doesn't want to let anything go by her," Boothe said. "She's a tremendous athlete. She can jump. She can sprint the floor. She can play inside and outside. I think those are all things that make her a tremendous asset for us."
She's displayed that competitive fire since her freshman year, when the Cardinals made a big jump in the standings.
"Even as a freshman, we had a down year the year before, and she turned us around," Boothe said. "She was the only change in our lineup and we had 10 more wins. She loves the game and wants to play hard and see what she can achieve."
Linhart has shown an ability to play all five positions on the floor for the Cardinals.
This year, boothe took advantage of that versatility and had her play more of a guard position at times.
"She's really come a long way in that she hasn't had to be a ballhandler and this year we moved her to more of a guard position at times," Boothe said. "I was worried about if that would wear her down or not. I think it did at times, but she was able to get through that. She brought the ball up the floor for us and ran the offense."
Linhart's offensive prowess garnered a lot of attention from opposing teams, which opened up shots for her teammates, as well.
"She definitely would draw a lot of attention and would have a box-and-one or a triangle-and-two on her and Lydia (Martin)," Boothe said. "Both of those were able to pull the attention away from our other players. That's why Kate Havens was able to get some of her shots and why other players were able to get open shots."
And the best news for Boothe — he gets to coach Linhart for one more year.
"It's extremely good to know she's coming back for one more year," he said. "We've gotten a lot out of her. I think we have some higher goals set for her. I think she's going to have a good summer's worth of work and be ready to go for her senior year.
"I think it's going to be a very exciting year for our team," Boothe continued. "I think we'll be a different team with a few more players on the floor that can score and hopefully be a little more dynamic than we were this year."
Iowa Newspaper Association
All-state girls basketball
Front line — Alissa Brown, Jesup, 6-0, Sr.; Jamie Gesink, Western Christian, 5-8, Jr.; Kari Fitzpatrick, Edgewood-Colesburg, 5-11, Jr.
Back court — Nicole Miller, North Linn, 5-9, Jr.; Ellie Herzberg, Manson Northwest Webster, 5-9, Sr.; Ellie Ruffridge, Pocahontas, 5-3, Fr.
Utility — Olivia Godfrey, Panorama, 6-0, Sr.; Jenna Lehman, Iowa City Regina, 5-10, Sr.
Front line — Alli Huss, Fort Dodge St. Edmond, 6-0, Sr.; Ellen Gallagher, Woodbury Central, 6-0, Sr.; Haley Birks, South Central Calhoun, 6-0, Jr.
Back court — Casey Miles, Hudson, 5-8, Sr.; Abbey Meyer, Cascade, 5-3, Sr.; Morgan Muhlbauer, IKM-Manning, 5-9, Jr.
Utility — Kylie Ferguson, Council Bluffs St. Albert, 5-10, Sr.; Anna Yung, Fort Dodge St. Edmond, 5-9, Sr.
Front line — Rachel Struve, South O'Brien, 5-11, Sr.; Channing Wunsch, North Butler, 5-10, Sr.; Brooke Wooten, Maquoketa Valley, 5-9, Sr.
Back court — Kayla Prosser, South Hardin, 5-9, Sr.; Alissa Pollema, Western Christian, 5-6, Sr.; Tasha Alexander, Eddyville-Blakesburg-Fremont, 5-8, Sr.
Utility — Ashley Dumler, Dike-New Hartford, 5-11, Sr.; Hallie Linhart, Central Decatur, 5-9, Jr.