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The Linn-Mar boys basketball team's reserves triggered the surge. Trey Hutcheson squelched any chance of a Bettendorf rally.

After Linn-Mar's standout went to the bench with his second foul late in the first quarter, the Lions received 18 straight points from their bench to roll past Bettendorf 59-34 in a Saturday matinee at Bettendorf High School.

When Hutcheson departed, Linn-Mar trailed 10-9. By halftime, the Lions had built a 31-15 cushion thanks to a dozen second-quarter points from Cole Martin.

"That was a big stretch," Linn-Mar coach Chris Robertson said. "Our second team has been really, really good, and the big thing is they've been really good defensively. "

Bettendorf, after rolling to a 22-point win over Cedar Rapids Washington on Thursday, mustered only three first-half field goals.

The Bulldogs made only one basket in the final 10 minutes, 25 seconds of the half and shot 22 percent for the game.

"The disappointing part for me, when we struggled in that second quarter scoring and missed a couple bunnies and wide-open looks, it affected the way we guarded," Bettendorf coach Curtis Clark said. "We lacked some energy, a good learning lesson for an inexperienced group."

Even in Thursday's win, Clark saw similar defensive breakdowns. Washington did not capitalize. Linn-Mar did with nine 3-pointers.

"(Linn-Mar) exposed some of our weaknesses that we've got to get better at," Clark said.

Hutcheson made his presence known in the third quarter. He scored 14 of his game-high 22 points in the stanza as Linn-Mar's lead ballooned to 28 points.

The Lions have five players in their rotation back from last year's 10-13 team.

"I like our guys," Robertson said. "We've got two good groups coming together. The thing I like most is we've really bought in on the defensive end. All 10 guys take pride in defending and getting stops."

Conversely, Clark felt his team was too impatient.

Bettendorf's coaches charted only 10 ball reversals in its half-court offense.

The Bulldogs never could get junior point guard DJ Carton going. After scoring 24 points in the season opener, Carton was 2 of 13 from the field and finished with 13 points and five rebounds.

"Like the rest of our guys, he got a little impatient, too," Clark said. "He's really good at creating offense for us, so he'll bounce back. He'll watch the film and see it.

"He's a better player than 2 for 13."

Robertson was pleased how his team kept Carton in check.

"He's such a special player, so explosive," Robertson said. "We lost him a couple times, but for the most part we were really focused on where he was and making him work."

It was Linn-Mar's fourth consecutive win over Bettendorf.

Robertson wasn't certain how the game would unfold after a lackluster shootaround Saturday morning.

"We weren't very good, and I got on them pretty good," he said. "I didn't know if they were mentally ready to play, but they got it together. It was a big win for us."


Sports Editor

Prep sports editor, with emphasis on covering the Mississippi Athletic Conference and Iowa area high schools. I've been in sports journalism for 17 years, the last five at the Quad-City Times.