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MARION — Linn-Mar rode a 26-8 scoring advantage from the free throw line to a 64-50 win over Waterloo East in a Class 4A boys’ basketball substate Friday.

Trey Hutcheson did a fair share of the damage with 24 points that included an 18-for-21 effort from the line as the Lions (15-5) advanced to face Cedar Falls (17-3) Tuesday at the U.S. Cellular Center in Cedar Rapids with a state tournament berth at stake.

Friday, the Lions twice built double-digit leads in the second half only to see East close within four both times. The plan to combat the runs was simple.

Get the ball to Hutcheson near the basket.

“All week in practice the coaches really told us to pound it inside,” Hutcheson said. “We just had to recognize how to beat (their pressure) and calm down. Once we figured out how to beat it, we were OK.”

East (12-9) rode the shooting of guards Tyrese Nickelson and Ramir Scott to claw back into the game. Nickelson, a senior, finished with 24 points and Scott added 15.

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“Their guards, especially Nickelson, were tremendous,” Linn-Mar coach Chris Robertson said. “We knew they would be a great challenge for us.”

Linn-Mar 64, Wat. East 50

WATERLOO EAST (12-8) — Tyrese Nickelson 8 4-6 24, Ramir Scott 5 1-2 15, Ramon Harrington 0 0-2 0, Tavious Jenkins 2 2-2 6, Trevion Labeaux 2 1-2 5, DJ Holmes 0 0-0 0, Davon Huggins 0 0-0 0. Totals 17 8-14 50.

LINN-MAR (15-5) — Jaren Nelson 5 3-4 16, Greg Hall 2 0-0 5, Trey Hutcheson 3 18-21 24, John Steffen 3 3-3 9, Hayden Passmore 1 0-1 2, Cam Nelson 1 2-2 5, Will Zahradnik 0 0-0 0, Brady Klahn 1 0-0 3. Totals 16 26-31 64.

Halftime — Linn-Mar 36, 27. 3-point goals — East 8 (Nickelson 4, Scott 4), Linn-Mar 6 (J. Nelson 3, Hall 1, C. Nelson 1, Klahn 1). Total fouls — East 19, Linn-Mar 11. Fouled out — Nickelson.

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