To say that Linn County came out slow in Friday evening's Class 1 state semifinal in Springfield versus the Jefferson Eagles would be a radical understatement.
The Mustangs' boys' basketball team bore the burden of a 10-0 deficit when Jason White decided to call a timeout just three minutes into the game, and the Jefferson lead extended to 16-0 before Linn County impacted the scoreboard with a pair of Jase White free throws with three minutes remaining in the first period.
Linn County, despite building some momentum at points throughout, never got back within 10 points. The Mustangs fell, 62-49.
"We came out a little bit out of sorts offensively, and they hit every shot they took," Jason White said. "We're going to make some adjustments, and I'm proud of the way our kids continued to play. Until the bitter end, we never felt like we were totally out of it, but they're a good team and they kept their foot on our throat."
Six-foot-seven Jefferson forward Chase Farnan had the Mustangs' number on Friday evening, preventing Linn County forward Chadley Waltz from getting much going on the low block early in the game.
Farnan led all scorers with 26 points, and hauled in 10 rebounds. Linn County trailed by as much as 20 in the second half, and seemingly each time the Mustangs chipped the margin to 12 or 13 points, Farnan found a way to convert a routine layup.
Waltz had a double-double of his own, finishing with 12 points and 17 boards, although he finished just 4-of-18 shooting. Jase White scored a team-high 18 points for the Mustangs, and Michael O'Kane finished with 11.
Despite the interior discrepancy, the Mustangs out-rebounded Jefferson 32 to 29, including hauling in 14 offensive boards -- double the Eagles' total.
Jefferson finished 50 percent from the field, shooting 24-of-48. Linn County, on the other hand, was 19-of-46 overall.
Linn County will play St. Elizabeth at 11 a.m. Saturday for third place.
"Our shot selection wasn't as good as we needed it to be, but the good news is we get to turn around and play tomorrow," Jason White said. "We took some shots that we shouldn't have, but we never really forced anything. Our kids' growth even this season is evident from that alone."