By Ryan Murken
Your Prep Sports
MARION – No one from City High was able to pin point exactly what went wrong in the second half of Monday’s Class 4A substate opener.
What every Little Hawk seemed to agree on was that when things went wrong, they went wrong in a hurry.
For the second time in less than a week City High let a two-point halftime lead slip away against Linn Mar, falling to the Lions 70-52 in a Class 4A, Substate 5 quarterfinal in Marion.
“A few things didn’t go our way and it kind of snowballed from there,” City High coach Derek Roberts said. “It was tough to respond, it just kind of took the wind out of our sails.”
City High used a 20-point second quarter to overcome an early eight-point deficit and take a 26-24 halftime lead.
The lead was short lived as Linn-Mar opened the second half on a 10-3 run and outscored the Little Hawks 24-9 in the decisive third quarter.
“Our defense wasn’t there and we didn’t have enough energy,” City High sophomore Antonio Turner said of the third quarter. “We started missing shots and it took our confidence away and it started to snowball.”
The loss was the second in six days to Linn-Mar for City High which closed the season at 4-18.
Linn-Mar outscored City High 40-24 in the second half of a 68-54 regular season win in Iowa City on February 14.
On Monday, Linn-Mar (10-12) shot 63 percent and outscored City High 46-26 in the second half while advancing to take on Muscatine (14-6) in the Substate 5 semifinals.
“Linn-Mar was playing good basketball in the second half,” Roberts said. “They were very aggressive attacking the hoop, we couldn’t stop them very well.”
City High trailed 14-6 after the opening quarter but responded with its best eight-minute stretch of the season.
City High tied the score at 16-16 on back-to-back 3-pointers by Ry Threlkeld-Wiegand and Luke Young.
Two minutes later Threlkeld-Wiegand and Turner hit 3-pointers on consecutive possessions to give City High its first lead of the game at 22-17.
“We were just playing, we weren’t thinking about anything,” Threlkeld-Wiegand said. “Everything that we have been working on all season came together.”
City High held Linn-Mar to 10 points on 3-of-13 shooting in the second quarter while outscoring the Lions 20-10.
Threlkeld-Wiegand had 10 of his team-high 18 points in the second quarter as City High made 8-of-14 field goals including 4-of-5 from beyond the 3-point arc.
“I think that’s the best quarter I saw us play all year and that’s what you want to be doing at this point,” Roberts said. “The first quarter we came out a little bit slow I thought at our youth showed a little bit with some butterflies but I thought we played really well in the second quarter.”
Linn-Mar didn’t let the lead last long.
The Lions scored the first four points of the third quarter to regain the lead at 28-26 and never let City High pull even.
City High got as close as 30-29 on a layup by Keshawn Christian but the freshman was whistled for a technical foul after the basket and Trey Hutcheson hit two free throws on the other end.
The Hutcheson free throws after the technical foul started a 16-2 Linn-Mar run that pushed the lead to 46-31.
“Some calls didn’t go our way and then everything kind of snowballed from there,” Threlkeld-Wiegand said. “It just kind of went downhill.”
Hutcheson had 14 of his game-high 21 in the second half and led three Linn-Mar players in double figures.
Turner finished with 16 points for City High.
City High 6 20 9 17 – 52
Linn-Mar 14 10 24 22 – 70
Linn-Mar (70) – Reece Phillips 5-8 7-8 17, Jacob Robertson 0-2 0-0 0, Tyler Voves 3-7 1-2 9, Cole Martin 0-1 2-2 2, Nolan Ruff 3-5 1-1 8, Trey Hutcheson 7-14 6-6 21, Jack Gertsen 0-1 0-0 0, Kirby Kerr 0-1 0-0 0, Nate Annis 6-9 1-2 13, Team 24-48 18-21 70.
City High (52) – Antonio Turner 5-13 4-5 16, Carter Westlake 0-2 0-0 0, Kolbie Barnes 0-2 0-0 0, Malik Kimber 2-3 0-0 4, Keshawn Christian 3-12 2-2 8, Ry Threlkeld-Wiegand 6-14 0-0 18, Luke Young 2-2 0-0 6, Chuck Johnson 0-2 0-0 0, Jeremy Kambomba 0-1 0-0 0, Team 18-51 9-11 52.
3-point field goals – ICH 7-22 (Turner 2-6, Westlake 0-2, Barnes 0-1, Kimber 0-1, Christian 0-3, Threlkeld-Wiegand 3-7, Young 2-2), LM 4-12 (Phillips 0-2, Robertson 0-1, Voves 2-3, Martin 0-1, Ruff 1-2, Hutcheson 1-3). Rebounds – ICH 26 (Christian 7), LM 34 (Hutcheson 9). Turnovers – ICH 12, LM 13. Total fouls – ICH 13, LM 10. Fouled out – None. Technical fouls – City High (Christian, Kambomba).