As soon as he released the ball, Adam Wellman held the pose.

The Bettendorf senior's 3-point shot was true, and it gave the Bulldogs a late lead over Davenport Assumption, but there was still work to be done with nine seconds left in the fourth quarter.

Trent Fitzpatrick grabbed the inbounds pass and drove the length of the court, but had his shot blocked by J. Michael Young as time expired as the Bulldogs hung on for a 67-66 win at Assumption High School.

"I was just trying to stay in front of him and keep him from going by me," Young said. "He went up for the shot and I blocked it. We just need to get better and it starts in practice."

Assumption coach Matt Fitzpatrick had a timeout but elected not to take it, opting not to let the Bulldogs reset defensively.

"I felt like we played good enough to win that game and I told the guys you can't let those last 10 seconds affect how you feel about the game," he said. "I thought (Trent Fitzpatrick) had a crease to get in there and attack and obviously the shot got blocked."

The Bulldogs led 52-37 after three quarters but a hot-shooting Assumption (4-16, 3-14 MAC) team quickly cut into the lead. The Knights hit seven 3s and scored 29 points in the quarter, and took a 66-64 lead with a 3-pointer from Malik Smith-Larson with 21.8 seconds left.

The Bulldogs (12-8, 10-5) drew up a play for Young, but when the Knights closed off that option, Young found Wellman cutting to the top of the key for the game-winner.

"It felt good and it looked like it was going in, so I held the pose," Wellman said. "Coach drew up a great play to get a great look. It was a great pass for a wide-open shot."

The Knights were hitting from deep all night, finishing 16 of 29 from behind the arc. Cam Sturtevant led the team with 23 points, 21 coming from behind the 3-point line, and with each big bucket hit, the crowd at Assumption became more and more frenzied.

"It's like nothing I've ever experienced," Sturtevant said. "I had chills on the court. It was fun and I would love to do that again. We just continued to fight and I think if we play like that we can make a run at the state tournament."

Smith-Larson added 18 points and while the confidence of Assumption's young team continues to grow, the Bulldogs know they need to learn from this close call.

Young led the Bulldogs with 17 points, a number equaled by Jovan Jackson off the bench. The Bulldogs conclude the MAC season with Davenport West, a preview of their Class 4A substate opener and Bettendorf will look to get back to the strong defense that has helped it win six of its last seven games.

"I'll have to spend some time on the video, but defensively, to give up 29 points in the quarter was not our goal," Bettendorf coach Curtis Clark said. "I think, the last few weeks, the reason we've won the games we have is we've been really fundamental defensively and I though we were really lacking in that tonight. Hopefully we can use this as a learning tool to get better."


Sports reporter for the Quad-City Times