Genesis Shootout: United Township vs. Davenport Assumption

Assumption's Trent Fitzpatrick (22) shoots a 3-pointer during a basketball game against United Township last month. Fitzpatrick has made three shots beyond half-court in the last three weeks for the Knights.

BRIAN ACHENBACH, Lee News Network

Classmates have started to call him the "half-court specialist."

On three occasions in the past three weeks, Davenport Assumption senior point guard Trent Fitzpatrick has buried a shot in a game from beyond half-court at the end of a quarter.

"There might be a little bit of skill, but a lot of it is luck," Fitzpatrick said.

The first came on Jan. 5 against Bettendorf -- a heave from the opposing team's free throw line at the end of the first quarter.

A week later at Davenport North, Fitzpatrick drained one between half-court and the opposing 3-point circle at the conclusion of the third quarter.

Then last Tuesday in Assumption's upset win over North Scott, Fitzpatrick hit one from the opposite 3-point line at the end of the third quarter.

"Pretty wild," his uncle and Assumption coach Matt Fitzpatrick said. "I've never seen or heard of anything like it.

"People ask me how does he do it? He's such a competitive kid. When you play that hard and compete that hard, good things happen."

It isn't a shot Fitzpatrick really practices.

In fact when local television stations have asked him to reenact the shot in practice recently, he didn't draw rim or hit the backboard.

"It is the adrenaline, a split-second look at the rim and put it up there," Fitzpatrick said. "I've been lucky to have some fall."

Besides the three he's made, he also was fouled on one attempt and converted two of the three free throws.

So, in essence, he's scored 11 points off shots beyond half-court this month.

"I really didn't have words after the third one went in," Fitzpatrick said. "It is something I never would have dreamed about in a million years.

"It is something I'll be able to remember for the rest of my life and cherish with my teammates."

Fitzpatrick said his father gives some of the credit to Pat Doyle. When Fitzpatrick would attend Assumption basketball games as a young kid, Doyle organized a halftime shootout where spectators could pay $1 to attempt a half-court shot.

"If you made it, you'd get a free sandwich from Jimmy John's," Fitzpatrick said. "Since I was doing that all the time, my dad thinks that's the reason I've been able to make some."

The shots have come in some big moments for the Knights. His one last Tuesday trimmed North Scott's lead from seven to four.

Those points turned out to be significant in what was an overtime triumph for Class 3A 10th-ranked Assumption (7-8).

"When you really think about it, they've been game-changers for us," coach Fitzpatrick said. "It gets your crowd into it, the bench into it. When you make an exciting shot like that, it gets everyone going."

Asked where it ranked on his list of high school accomplishments, which includes game-winning soccer goals at the state tournament, Fitzpatrick said this is at the top.

"Definitely number one," he said. "I've been blessed to have some special things happen, but personally this definitely has been the craziest thing that has ever happened to me."

Closing in on 1,000: Bettendorf senior guard Emily Ivory is 11 points shy of 1,000 for her career going into tonight's home game against North Scott.

Ivory, signed to continue her basketball career at Missouri-Kansas City next season, is averaging 12.1 points per game.

She would become the third current player in the Mississippi Athletic Conference to reach that milestone along with Davenport North's Paige Bradford (1,398 points) and Pleasant Valley's Ellie Spelhaug (1,264).

Regional pairings: The Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union released its Class 1A, 2A and 3A regional girls basketball pairings last Thursday. The 4A and 5A assignments will be out Thursday afternoon.

Ranked fourth in 4A, North Scott is in position to be a top seed in its region. PV (16-1) entered last week fourth in 5A. If the Spartans remain in the top eight in Thursday's rankings, they would be in position to host a regional final as well.

Another record: Muscatine's Joe Wieskamp passed Ricky Davis as the MAC's all-time leading scorer in the second game of the season. On Saturday, Wieskamp eclipsed Davis as the conference's all-time rebounding leader.

Wieskamp had 10 rebounds in the Muskies' 50-46 win over Clark County at the Quincy Shootout. It moved his career total to 805, passing Davis' mark of 801 set from 1994-97.

The Muscatine senior also moved to second on the Iowa Class 4A all-time scoring list. He has 2,067 points, 127 behind Jeff Horner as the all-time leader. At his current pace, Wieskamp would pass Horner on Feb. 13 against Davenport Assumption.

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Sports Editor

Prep sports editor, with emphasis on covering the Mississippi Athletic Conference and Iowa area high schools. I've been in sports journalism for 17 years, the last five at the Quad-City Times.