Pleasant Valley finished last basketball season a game under .500. 

But with three starters returning from what was a large senior class in the Mississippi Athletic Conference last winter, the Spartans are expected to be at or near the top of the pack this season. 

Coach Steve Hillman's team will represent Iowa in the final game of this year's Genesis Shootout at Augustana College's Carver PE Center.

The pairings for the 24th annual event, released Sunday, has PV squaring off with Moline in the marquee game at 8:30 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 16. 

The Maroons are coming off a 21-9 season in which they shared the Western Big Six title and claimed a regional championship. Coach Sean Taylor's squad returns four starters, led by junior and all-metro selection Deonte Billups. 

PV brings back starters Brian Dayman, Carter Duwa and Hunter Snyder from an 11-12 team. 

It'll be the first meeting between Moline and PV in the Genesis Shootout. Moline beat PV 64-58 in last year's season opener for the Spartans. 

The seven-game event begins at 10 a.m. with Davenport Central facing Riverdale. Davenport West meets Geneseo in the 11:45 a.m. contest and Davenport North battles Alleman at 1:30 p.m. 

Bettendorf, led by highly recruited point guard D.J. Carton, faces off with Galesburg at 3:15 p.m. Assumption plays United Township at 5 p.m. and North Scott clashes with Rock Island at 6:45 p.m.

Illinois leads the all-time series 11-10-2 and has a 71-58 advantage in games. Iowa has won the last two Genesis Shootouts, 6-1 and 4-3. 

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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.