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Big fourth quarter saves North Linn boys’ basketball against Dunkerton
Class 1A second-ranked Lynx come from behind to upend No. 6 Dunkerton, 60-46
DUNKERTON — Their best player was in foul trouble all night and eventually fouled out.
Another one of their starters was given a technical foul in the fourth quarter for apparently saying something derogatory about an official’s call.
They didn’t shoot it well at all. They trailed the majority of the way.
And yet somehow the North Linn Lynx found a way to win on the road against an undefeated opponent that also is ranked in the top 10.
“Other people just stepped up tonight,” said North Linn’s Mason Bechen, after his second-ranked club rallied past No. 6 Dunkerton, 60-46. “You just have to do that.”
A sophomore guard, Bechen had 12 of his 16 points in the second half. He sandwiched a Breckyn Betenbender 3-pointer with a pair of his own early in the fourth quarter to give North Linn (18-0) a 47-39 lead.
Dunkerton (16-1) led by seven at halftime and by four going to the final frame, 39-35. But the Lynx owned that fourth, outscoring their opponent by a 25-7 margin, finally going on a spurt they so often have come up with to put a team away.
“We started slow, didn’t play the pace that we needed,” Bechen said. “That second half, we started going at our pace. I think that helped us.”
“Proud of our kids,” said Dunkerton Coach Todd Kuntz. “We proved that we could play with them.”
Ty Pflughaupt led North Linn with 23 points, including five 3-pointers. Star center Tate Haughenbury, who recently committed to Kirkwood Community College, was limited to six points on 3-of-12 field-goal shooting.
He sat much of the first half with a pair of fouls, then fouled out on a charging call with 2:35 left. Ben Wheatley was T’d up a minute earlier.
But back to finding a way.
“First of all, it says we have more than just a couple of players. We’ve got a lot of good players,” said North Linn Coach Mike Hilmer. “They took us out of our game. They played great defense, they stayed in front of us. Part of that was them, part of it was we were playing like they were the better team ... When you think about it, all we did was throw up 3-pointers. We didn’t look at the basket at all.
“I kind of lit a fire under Mason Bechen at halftime and said ‘You’re one of the best players out here. But you didn’t play like it that half.’ He sure responded and played a heck of a second half.”
North Linn shot just 36.5 percent from the field. Casey Gardner had 13 points to lead Dunkerton.
NORTH LINN (60): Ty Pflughaupt 9-16 0-0 23, Tate Haughenbury 3-12 0-3 6, Breckyn Betenbender 2-6 0-0 6, Mason Bechen 6-16 2-2 16, Ben Wheatley 2-9 0-0 4, Jake Van Etten 1-1 2-2 4, Drew Ries 0-1 0-0 0, Grant Rechkemmer 0-2 1-2 1. Totals 23-63 5-9 60.
DUNKERTON (46): Preston Gillespie 5-8 2-2 12, Jayden Downs 1-3 0-0 2, Dylan Marquart 2-8 0-0 6, Braiden Van Lengen 0-0 0-0 0, Casey Gardner 4-12 2-3 14, Jacob Snyder 2-5 0-0 4, Noah Fuelling 3-8 0-0 9, Dalton Weepie 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 17-45 4-5 46.
Halftime - Dunkerton 32, North Linn 25. 3-point goals - North Linn 9-26 (Pflughaupt 5-11, Haughenbury 0-1, Betenbender 2-5, Bechen 2-4, Wheatley 0-4, Ries 0-1), Dunkerton 8-24 (Gillespie 0-1, Marquart 2-6, Gardner 3-8, Snyder 0-1, Fuelling 3-8). Rebounds - North Linn 31 (Bechen 7), Dunkerton 36 (Gillespie 12). Total fouls - North Linn 11, Dunkerton 10. Technical foul - Wheatley. Fouled out - None. Turnovers - North Linn 5, Dunkerton 21.
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