Bettendorf and Pleasant Valley split a MAC boys/girls doubleheader last night at Pleasant Valley. Tonight (weather permitting), QCSportsNet.com will be at United Township to cover UT and Davenport Central. Pre-game will be at 6:15 PM with a 6:30 PM tip-off from the Panther Den.
The full Quad City high school scoreboard
Bettendorf 49, Pleasant Valley 34
Burlington 65, Davenport West 46
Davenport Central 73, Assumption 67
Muscatine 80, Davenport North 35
North Scott 63, Clinton 42
Pleasant Valley 54, Bettendorf 47
Muscatine 60, Davenport North 38
North Scott 62, Clinton 19
Western Big 6 boys
Rock Island 80, Alleman 26
Galesburg 46, Moline 38
United Township at Quincy postponed because of weather
On Thursday afternoon, I had the opportunity to interview Bettendorf boys head coach Curtis Clark about the Bulldogs’ big conference opener against Pleasant Valley. Coach Clark discusses last Saturday’s 65-51 against Linn-Mar, the play of his senior guards Dylan Sortillo and Cole Clearman, and the atmosphere he expects at Pleasant Valley.
QCSportsNet.com will cover both games of the Bettendorf-Pleasant Valley varsity basketball doubleheader beginning with a 5:45 pregame show. The girls game begins at 6 PM with the boys game starting at approximately 7:45 PM.
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!
QCSportsNet.com went live last night with its debut broadcast from Moody Gym at Dubuque Hempstead High School. Pleasant Valley’s boys basketball team opened its season with a 47-34 win over Dubuque Hempstead. Here are five things I learned from PV’s season-opening win.
- PV’s front-line depth is impressive – The Spartans have a very good mix of skill and strength on their front line. Will Carius has extended the range on his shot and looks very comfortable from 20 feet in. He will draw opposing centers from the basket and make more room for Steve Hillman’s motion offense. Carter Milam was a very pleasant surprise. The 6-6 sophomore brings strength to the middle, allowing Carius and Jeffrey Kardell to play more away from the basket. This depth will become even more apparent when Ryan Spelhaug returns from a foot injury.
- The Spartans do not beat themselves – Since I have watched Pleasant Valley beginning in the 2008-2009 season, I have been impressed by their execution. They are well-coached and rarely beat themselves. This will be important during the MAC conference season, which can be a grind.
- Austin Esters shows little rust from last year’s season-ending injury – The senior was wearing a knee brace last night, but he led the Spartans’ offensive efforts. His dribble penetration drew defenders, allowing him to kick the ball to open wing shooters.
- Hempstead will be a tough out in February – The Mustangs were frustrated by PV’s ability to control the pace of the game, but this is a young, athletic team. They have good athletes with size on the wings and will cause matchup problems with some MVC teams because of this.
- PV’s key is controlling tempo – The Spartans did run on limited occasions last night, but they controlled the game with their patient motion offense. Pleasant Valley ran a variety of offensive sets designed to create space for its wing players and to allow for dribble penetration. The Spartans’ best attribute is patience. They are tough to prepare for on limited practice time.
PV will have three days to prepare for its home opener against Waterloo East. QCSportsNet.com will carry the game live with the pre-game show starting around 7:15 PM (assuming the sophomore game does not go into double overtime like it did last night!)