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“Bechenbury” leads North Linn past Madrid in boys’ state basketball quarterfinals
Mason Bechen scored 29 points and Tate Haughenbury 25 in North Linn’s 72-63 Class 1A win Monday over Madrid
DES MOINES — Bechenbury. You can’t beat it.
At least you couldn’t beat it Monday afternoon at the boys’ state basketball tournament.
Mason Bechen and Tate Haughenbury combined for 54 points in North Linn’s 72-63 win over Madrid in a Class 1A state quarterfinal at Wells Fargo Arena.
The Lynx are back in the semifinals for a seventh consecutive year, one heck of an achievement. Thank an old veteran (Haughenbury) and a sophomore newbie (Bechen) for that.
“Obviously (Madrid) is a really good team, especially for a 7-seed down here at the state tournament,” Haughenbury said. “Everyone is very, very talented. Coach had us prepared for this game. Coming in with a younger group of guys, after having all those seniors around me last year, it’s been really fun. They’ve really stepped up. Mason had an outstanding game.”
Yeah, he did. After a dunk brought Madrid (22-3) within five, 63-58, Bechen immediately countered with a driving hoop.
After two Madrid free throws, he hit a dagger 3-point at the end of the shot clock to put North Linn ahead, 68-60, with 1:50 left.
“I saw it was at 3 when Tate got the ball,” he said. “I was yelling at him to pass it, and I just chucked it up, and it went in ... You could definitely hear their crowd go quiet after that 3.”
⧉ Related article: Photos: North Linn sails to boys’ state basketball semifinals after defeating Madrid
To cap it off, Bechen then picked up a steal on Madrid’s ensuing possession and fed Haughenbury for a layup that put things out of reach with 1:18 left. He finished with 29 points, double his season average.
“We had a couple of games that were like that this season, and I was kind of nervous for those,” Bechen said. “But now that I’m used to it, I just play my game now. The game just goes on.”
“He’s one of those kids that at the beginning of the year we would have said, man, we expected more out of you and from you,” said North Linn Coach Mike Hilmer. “This is how he is capable of playing every single game, to be quite honest with you. Really, really proud of him. I know he feels pressure sometimes because it’s been a Hilmer (Jake), then another Hilmer (Austin), and now it’s not. He really showed up today and showed he belongs right where he’s at. He did an outstanding job.”
Bechen and Haughenbury had the final 32 of North Linn’s points in the first half, as the Lynx built a 34-25 edge. It was a 13-point game after three quarters, but Madrid kept hanging around and hanging around on some prolific 3-point shooting.
Shooting it at a 33.9-percent clip coming in, the Tigers made 11 of 21 in the game. So much for state tourney jitters for a school making its first state hoops tournament appearance.
Haughenbury finished with 25 points, unstoppable much of the time driving the ball from the top of the arc through the lane. The 6-5 senior was a point guard growing up, until being moved more inside and to a wing position as he grew.
He touted the play of his teammates, only one of whom (Ben Wheatley) saw a ton of playing time for last season’s 1A championship team.
“To play with that kind of poise was extremely impressive from everyone,” he said.
Kadyn Severson had 21 points and Toryn Severson 17 for Madrid. North Linn’s semifinal is Wednesday night at 7:15 against Remsen St. Mary’s (23-2).
The teams played in last year’s semifinals, with North Linn winning, 56-46.
AT DES MOINES
MADRID (63): Toryn Severson 5-11 3-4 17, Kadyn Severson 8-10 1-3 21, Jackson Newell 3-3 0-0 6, Fabian Ortiz-Alaniz 2-5 0-0 5, Brody Buck 5-13 0-1 12, Jake Leonard 1-1 0-0 2. Totals 24-43 4-8 63.
NORTH LINN (72): Ty Pflughaupt 1-3 0-1 2, Tate Haughenbury 10-17 5-6 25, Ben Wheatley 2-5 1-2 5, Breckyn Betenbender 2-7 0-0 5, Mason Bechen 9-12 6-7 29, Drew Ries 0-0 0-0 0, Jake Van Etten 2-2 2-4 6. Totals 26-46 14-20 72.
Halftime - North Linn 34, Madrid 25. 3-point goals - Madrid 11-21 (T. Severson 4-6, Ortiz-Alanis 1-2, Buck 2-7, K. Severson 4-6), North Linn 6-16 (Wheatley 0-1, Betenbender 1-5, Bechen 5-7, Pflughaupt 0-2, Haughenbury 0-2). Rebounds - Madrid 28 (T. Severson, Newell 4), North Linn 18 (Pflughaupt 6). Assists - Madrid 13 (Buck, K. Severson 4), North Linn 9 (Haughenbury 4). Turnovers - Madrid 18, North Linn 5.
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