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R.C. Hatch makes it look easy

R.C. Hatch (6-3) took advantage of a Linden team searching for its basketball legs in a 99-57 win on Thursday.

The Bobcats were without leading scorer Trenton Tucker, but the rest of the team picked up the slack. Six Bobcat players finished in double figures, and R.C. Hatch was deadly from the 3-point line, hitting 10 on the night.

“That is by far the best game we’ve played this year,” said R.C. Hatch coach Homer Davis. “We needed a big win. We’re right where we needed to be.”

The Bobcats jumped on Linden (0-2) from the opening tip, as DeMarcus Burnett hit a layup with just two seconds elapsed from the clock. A Javaris Ravizee layup tied the game at 4-4, but that’s when R.C. Hatch took over.

A LeAnthony Smith 3-pointer sparked a 14-0 run to put the Bobcats up 18-4 with 1:38 left in the first quarter. Brandon Battle started aan 18-3 run with a layup to open the second quarter, and suddenly it was 36-11.

Things didn’t get much better for the Patriots in second half, as R.C. Hatch hit another spurt with a 19-6 run to open the third quarter and extend the lead to 82-37. Three Bobcats — Burnett, Smith and Steven Jones — hit 3-pointers during the run.

“R.C. Hatch has a great tradition and ball club,”said first-year Linden coach Joe Eatmon. “To lose by 50 is never good.”

Eatmon’s Patriots entered the game at a distinct disadvantage. With Linden reaching the semifinals in the football playoffs — due largely to its basketball players — this was only the Patriots’ second basketball game.

Jones led the Bobcats with 20 points. Smith finished with 13, Trence Askew poured in 12, Terry Fikes and Burnett tied at 11 apiece and Battle ended with 10.

Kendarius Goodwin led all scorers with 23 points, and Ajalon Bruno added 12 for the Patriots.