32 points from Trey Hutcheson gets Linn-Mar boys' basketball off to roaring start

Boys' basketball: Lions open season with 59-44 victory at Cedar Rapids Kennedy (1-1)

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CEDAR RAPIDS – Lineup limitations forced Trey Hutcheson to play close to the basket last season.

Now with a more-experienced supporting cast, the 6-foot-6 Linn-Mar junior is free to roam the perimeter and hurt opponents with a skillful jump shot or penetrating slashes to the rim.

“It’s going to benefit everything,” said Hutcheson, who scored a game-high 32 points as the Lions ran away from Cedar Rapids Kennedy, 59-44, in a non-conference boys’ basketball game Thursday night at Kennedy High School. “Now they’re going to have to guard me on the perimeter, they’re going to have to be careful of me driving. If they send guys to help, I’ve got four guys around me that are going to be able to shoot the ball and get to the rim.”

Kennedy (1-1) raced to an 18-8 lead in the first quarter behind seven points from sophomore forward Jack Wetzel and six from senior guard Derrick Diggins.

“The way they pressure you on defense, I think we were a little rattled,” Linn-Mar Coach Chris Robertson said. “They take you out of your rhythm. We settled in a little bit, made a couple of shots. I think the biggest thing was we kept defending.”

If one game was any indicator, defense could very well be the backbone of this Linn-Mar team. The Lions held Kennedy to four second-quarter points and clawed their way back to a 22-22 halftime tie with a 3-pointer by junior forward Hayden Passmore.

“This year, we’re going to get down and we’re going to guard guys,” Hutcheson said. “That is just something our team has dedicated ourselves to.”

Hutcheson began the second half with an emphatic drive and dunk and also accounted for three of five Linn-Mar 3-pointers in a 23-10 third quarter that allowed the Lions to seize control. Senior point guard Nolan Ruff converted two in the period and finished with eight points and a team-high four assists for Linn-Mar, which led by as many as 18 points.

Center Nate Annis posted six rebounds for the Lions.

Wetzel and senior guard Jackson Foley paced Kennedy with 13 points apiece. Diggins — who scored 41 Monday against Dubuque Wahlert — had 11.

Seniors Ki Jenkins and Keeler Dix — who both started the Wahlert game — were not in the lineup for the Cougars.

Linn-Mar visits Bettendorf on Saturday, while Kennedy is at Jefferson Dec. 8.

AT C.R. KENNEDY

LINN-MAR (59): Jacob Robertson 1 0-0 2, Jaren Nelson 0 0-1 0, Greg Hall 1 1-2 3, Cole Martin 2 2-2 7, Nolan Ruff 2 2-3 8, Trey Hutcheson 11 5-7 32, Hayden Passmore 1 1-2 4, Jack Gertsen 0 0-0 0, Nate Annis 1 1-2 3, Totals 18 11-19 59.

C.R. KENNEDY (44): Jackson Foley 4 2-2 13, Grant Griffin 1 1-2 3, Michael Gallagher 0 0-3 0, Derrick Diggins 3 5-6 11, Cole Werling 0 0-0 0, Jack Wetzel 5 2-2 13, Ben Koester 0 2-2 2, Ethan Sailer 1 0-0 2, Totals 14 12-17 44.

Linn-Mar 13 9 23 14—59

C.R. Kennedy 18 4 10 12—44

Halftime — Tied, 22-22. Three-point goals — Linn-Mar 9 (Hutcheson 5, Ruff 2, Martin 1, Passmore 1), Kennedy 4 (Foley 3, Wetzel 1). Rebounds — Linn-Mar 30 (Annis 6), Kennedy 20 (Wetzel 7), Assists — Linn-Mar 14 (Ruff 4), Kennedy 7 (Diggins 5), Total fouls — Linn-Mar 15, Kennedy 19. Fouled out — None.

l Comments: douglas.miles@thegazette.com

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