City Comes Up Just Short Against Ranked Linn-Mar

Jack Bacon and Henry Mildenstein

The City High boys basketball team dominated the first quarter on Tuesday night, but came up just short. The last part of that sentence can be said of almost every game the Little Hawks have played so far this season

After winning their first two games of the season, the team suffered a blowout loss to Iowa City West. Then they dropped six consecutive games in which they lead during the fourth quarter. City stopped the bleeding last Saturday with a clutch win over Waterloo West at the US Cellular Center, and were hoping to carry that momentum into Tuesday’s game against Linn-Mar.

For three quarters they did. City dominated in a perfectly executed first quarter, hitting threes and disrupting the Lions offense with constant defensive pressure. Clutch three point shots from Antonio Turner ‘19 and aggressive drives from emerging sophomore Byron Benton put the Little Hawks up 17-3 at the end of the first quarter. Head coach Derrick Roberts was ecstatic.

“In the first quarter we played really good defense,” said Coach Roberts. “I thought we executed and played the game well. Some of the things on offense led to great individual performances.”

But City knew that Linn-Mar, responsible for one of West High’s only two losses this season wouldn’t go away easily. City would lead by five heading into the fourth quarter as Lion’s star Trey Hutcheson chipped away at the lead, eventually finishing with 28 points.

Then, the Lions stepped up their defensive intensity. City was held to three fourth-quarter points and fell 59-48. Now 3-8 on the season, the Little Hawks know there’s something they have to find to take the next step as a team: consistency.

“There were some bright spots that you can look for and some bright individual performances. As a team we just need to be more consistent,” said Coach Roberts. “That was our message, we just have got to stay solid for 32 minutes. We had a couple bad spots that we need to go back and keep working on.”

Point guard Antonio Turner ‘19 agrees.

“Consistency. Some of the games we lost are by less than ten and we need to work on closing those games… We need to work on situations where we have the lead and continuing pressuring the other team.”

City is right there. With talented junior Keyshawn Christian expected to return soon, they have a chance to turn some heads over the remainder of season. The road to redemption starts next Tuesday in the new gym at Liberty High School.