Broadcasting the Genesis Shootout was one of the best experiences I’ve had in nearly 20 years of broadcasting games. Seeing a packed Carver Center and 14 area teams compete against each other for state bragging rights was great fun. Here are some of my “bests” from a great day of basketball.
Best team performance
From wire to wire, I’m going to go with North Scott. It’s hard to argue against Bettendorf’s incredible 27-4 start against Rock Island, but North Scott showed its great athletic ability on both ends of the floor. I know Moline was tired after a double-overtime loss in DeKalb earlier in the day, but this did not detract from the Lancers’ coming out party.
Best individual performances
I found it hard to single out one performance, so I will highlight three performances.
- Grant Gibson, Galesburg – Black Hawk head coach Darren Bizarri let me know this kid was a scoring machine, and Gibson did not disappoint in a 24 point, 5 assist effort to defeat Pleasant Valley. Gibson also played defense on PV standout Will Carius on the final possession, denying Carius the ball to attempt a tying shot.
- Nicholas Baer, Bettendorf – All Baer did was shoot 12 of 13 from the field in the Bulldogs’ 65-59 thriller over Rock Island. Baer showed great range and outstanding footwork around the basket.
- Geo Butler, Davenport Central – Butler was quiet in the first half of Central’s win over Alleman, but Butler’s defense and transition attack sparked the Blue Devils.
Best Sportsmanship Moment
This was an easy pick. When Davenport Central’s Nick Hairston injured his right hip at the end of the first quarter of the Central-Alleman game, Alleman starters Ben Graves and Charlie Garrett carried Hairston to the Blue Devils bench. Well done, gentlemen.
Best Coaching Performance
This was a difficult call, but I will give Davenport Central’s Craig Wurdinger a slight nod over Galesburg’s Mike Reynolds. Wurdinger used his bench, minus an injured Nick Hairston, extremely well in Central’s win over Alleman. Wurdinger started reserve guard Troy Weiman in the second half, and Weiman did a great job on Alleman’s Kevin O’Keeffe. Reynolds’ decision to pressure Pleasant Valley full-court in the second quarter changed the tempo of the game and allowed Galesburg’s quickness to play a larger factor in their win.
Most Unsung Performance
Galesburg’s Tyson Parks was undersized against Pleasant Valley’s front line, but Parks did an outstanding job on the offensive glass to keep several Silver Streak possessions alive. Much of what Parks did will not make the highlight reel, but he was a key factor in the win over PV.
Best game of the night
Let’s just get this one out of the way – Bettendorf’s win over Rock Island was a classic and the undisputed game of the night. The Rocks’ comeback from 23 down to take the lead in the fourth quarter had the Carver Center energized for much of the evening. The next-best game was Galesburg’s win over Pleasant Valley. I loved this game because it was a chess match between two very good coaches with teams of different strengths. Galesburg’s quickness and defensive pressure won out over PV’s size and slower-paced approach. As noted earlier, Mike Reynolds did a great job adjusting tactics and forcing Pleasant Valley to play at a much faster pace than desired.
QCSportsNet will take some time off from broadcasting games, coming back on January 2, 2014. Our first two games of 2014 feature the clear MAC favorites with Bettendorf playing Davenport Assumption on Thursday, January 2 and North Scott playing Davenport North on Friday, January 3.