The most recent Iowa 4A basketball rankings are out. The Mississippi Athletic Conference (MAC) has two of the top five teams in the state – Bettendorf at #2 and North Scott at #4. Pleasant Valley, Davenport Central, and Clinton each received at least one vote in this week’s poll.
That’s half the conference garnering at least one vote in the statewide poll. Pleasant Valley coach Steve Hillman told me during his pre-game interview before Friday’s PV-Waterloo East game that he felt the MAC was the strongest basketball conference in the state. It’s hard to argue with Coach Hillman, at least for the time being. My schedule last week included three MAC vs. Mississippi Valley Conference (MVC) games. The MAC teams – Pleasant Valley and Bettendorf – won their games by an average of 16 points. Bettendorf struggled with a game Linn-Mar team for almost three quarters before its experience guard tandem of Cole Clearman and Dylan Sortillo took the game over.
Conference play begins Friday night, and it starts with two big games. Fourth-ranked North Scott travles to Clinton, and second-ranked Bettendorf travels two miles to face Pleasant Valley. QCSportsNet will cover the PV-Bettendorf game with tip occurring at approximately 7:45 PM.
I know one game does not make a season, but we will learn a lot from these two key games.
Can Pleasant Valley’s guards contain Sortillo and Clearman? – I was very impressed with the leadership of Bettendorf’s guards. PV’s guard tandme of Chase Kipper and Noah Bryant have a tall task. If PV’s guards can play Bettendorf guards even, PV has a shot to win. PV’s front line is deep and complements each other well. Can PV’s guards come up big?
How will North Scott’s junior-laden team respond in a hostile environemnt? – North Scott is deep, athletic, and talented. I cannot wait to see this team play a bit later in the season. Going to Clinton will be a test. The River Kings are a real dark horse team in the MAC this year, and their size could give the Lancers some trouble.
How much will Bettendorf’s experience matter on Friday night? – PV plays two sophmores extensively. Will Carius played a lot last year as a freshman, but Carter Milam will get his first taste of a big MAC game. The 6-6 sophomore has shown deft footwork and rebounding strength in PV’s two non-conference wins. How will he fare against Nicholas Baer and Kyle Buhman of Bettendorf?
This weekend will be fun. It’s what makes high school sports so great. Go out and enjoy the first weekend of MAC basketball!