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Bettendorf's Devynn Wakefield jams the ball against Davenport Central's Keshawn Pegues in the first half of the Class 4A substate opener Monday.

With a coach from the University of Dubuque in the stands to recruit him, Bettendorf’s Devynn Wakefield put on a show in the first half of Monday’s postseason opener against Davenport Central.

Wakefield scored 12 points — and threw down a pair of impressive dunks — as the Bulldogs built a 22-point halftime lead. From there, Bettendorf rolled to a 69-44 win in the Class 4A Substate 3 quarterfinal.

“It was a lot of fun,” Wakefield said of his first-half performance. “We knew we had to come out with a lot of energy.”

While University of Dubuque men’s basketball coach Robbie Sieverding had his sights set on Wakefield, the Blue Devil defense was focused on Bulldog star D.J. Carton. Central held Carton scoreless on just two shot attempts in the first half, but Carton made his mark anyway by finding the Bulldogs’ big men open for layups.

“They played a 3-2 zone, and they wanted to contain D.J., which left the back side of that zone open,” Bettendorf head coach Curtis Clark said. “D.J. did a nice job of driving into gaps and creating offense for those post guys. And those post guys did a good job of finishing.”

Wakefield, a 6-foot-4 senior, finished with a double-double of 16 points and 10 rebounds. Lucas Hayes, a 6-6 sophomore, matched his career high with 16 points, and he pulled down seven rebounds. The Blue Devils simply didn’t have anyone with the size to match up with Bettendorf’s big men.

“They are a lot bigger and stronger,” said Central head coach Craig Wurdinger, whose team was out-rebounded 34-17 in the contest. “They played a lot more physical than we did down low.”

Defensively, Bettendorf (10-12) limited Central to just 11 points in the first half on 3-for-17 shooting.

“We had really good focus and really good talking on all of our switches,” Wakefield said. “We really put together a good defensive half.”

That defense, along with balanced scoring from Carton’s supporting cast, helped the Bulldogs build a 33-11 halftime lead. Beside’s Wakefield’s 12 points, Phil Gist scored all nine of his points in the first half, and Hayes scored eight points before the break.

“It wasn’t just D.J. scoring,” Wakefield said. “We had a lot of guys sprinkle a few points in. It was a lot of fun.”

Central’s leading scorer, Nathan Tyson, also did not score in the first half. But he scored 15 of his 17 points in the third quarter as the Blue Devils attempted to rally. Central got within 14 points on a Josh English 3-pointer late in the third quarter, but Tyson fouled out early in the fourth and the Bulldogs pulled away.

“We got a little bit of a run going, but we didn’t get stops when we needed them,” Wurdinger said.

The Blue Devils (5-17) couldn’t stop Carton after halftime. Carton scored all 18 of his game-high 18 points after the break, all on aggressive drives to the basket.

Bettendorf advances to play at No. 5 Dubuque Senior in Friday’s substate semifinal. The game will be played just a few blocks from the University of Dubuque.

“They’ll be at the game for sure,” Wakefield said of the school’s coaches.