MASON CITY | It takes a lot to convert that potential into kinetic energy, but Lake Mills freshmen DaShawn Linnen and Caleb Bacon had the velocity to do it.
Couple that with 6-foot stature and the two were a force to be reckoned with in the Bulldogs’ 74-66 upset over Newman Catholic Friday night.
It was the first quarter where the Bulldogs built a 16-9 lead, finding holes in the Knights’ defense to capitalize on the post play. Defensively, Lake Mills repelled the Knights to the outside, forcing turnovers and missed 3-pointers.
But Bacon would get things sizzling in the second quarter, going 5 for 6 from the field, plus a shot from the line. His 11 points at half had the Bulldogs cooking up a 12-point lead, 33-21.
“My post move has gotten a lot better,” Bacon said. “Rebounding has been a big one for me.”
Every action produced an equal or greater reaction in the third quarter.
“I thought we did a good job with our defense, stayed in front really well,” Lake Mills head coach Kyle Menke said. “Overall, we were able to make enough plays and get the ball in to Caleb and DaShawn enough.”
Senior Justin Fausnaugh sank in a 3, but Bulldogs senior Trevor Hanna returned the favor on the very next play.
A 3-pointer by Knights junior Isaac Fettkether amused the crowd, and Bacon would be sent to the line for two completed free throws on the next play. Still vying to keep the Knights in contention, senior Josh Fitzgerald sank in the Knights’ fourth 3 of the quarter.
But the Bulldogs still held an 11-point lead going into the fourth, 54-43.
That’s where Linnen helped maintain the momentum, lining up back-to-back 3s and a layup to keep the Knights in disorder, shooting from wherever as the clock run out.
Fitzgerald did as much as he could for the Knights, plowing down the middle for 10 points and adding two from the line in the process.
The closest the Knights would get would be at 65-60 with 2:30 left in the game, but the Bulldogs would remain almost perfect from the line to extend the lead 74-66.
Menke praised the performances by the underclassmen. Bacon finished with a team-high 19 points and Linnen finished with 16. Sophomore Chett Helming racked up 14 points and Hanna had 11.
Fitzgerald finished with 27 points for the Knights.
“All year we’ve talked about how we have the potential to beat good teams,” Menke said. “We had not done it yet until tonight. Very rewarding as a coach when your kids can go out and execute and knocking off a good squad.”