Muscatine boys basketball coach Gary Belger called it a moment that passes through once every century.
With the same lightning quick pace Joe Wieskamp has used to climb Iowa’s Class 4A all-time scoring list, the senior raced out to 26 points in the first quarter, just four points shy of former Hawkeye Jeff Horner’s career record.
With 1 minute, 22 seconds remaining in the second quarter, Wieskamp sunk his 31st point of the night, and 2,195th point of his career, from the free-throw line to overtake the top spot.
He finished the night with 44 points, leading his team to a 74-56 victory over Burlington.
“There was a little pressure going into (the game),” Wieskamp said. “People wanted me to get it done tonight.”
Belger noticed a little difference in Wieskamp earlier in the day during a shootaround.
“I think he was a little edgy (in the shootaround),” Belger said. “I think he was wanting to get it over with.”
If there were any nerves heading into the game, they were gone by the opening tip.
Wieskamp made his first eight shots from the field, including four 3s, as Muscatine opened the first quarter on a 23-0 run.
But Wieskamp’s historic night wasn’t the only reason to celebrate for the Muskies, who have won six straight.
Belger not only got more production from his other starters but got help from the bench as well.
Lex Hahn finished with eight points, three rebounds and a pair of impressive blocks. Jackson Foulk scored nine points on 3-of-5 shooting from the field. And coming off the bench, Tyree Williams knocked down all three of his field goal attempts for six points.
“I think we’re playing better,” Belger said. “I thought Tyree Williams did a really nice job coming in. I thought Josh Hutton played excellent defense. Lex Hahn ran the floor, blocked shots, guarded inside guys, guarded outside guys. I thought he was key for us.”
Hahn held Burlington’s leading scorer to just two points, which were earned at the free-throw line. As a team, the Muskies held the Greyhounds scoreless for the first 5:30 of the game.
“They all bought into playing hard defense that first quarter and in turn saw that Joe was hot, and they were intelligent enough to keep getting him the ball,” Belger said.
The win adds even more momentum to a Muskie team that hopes to secure the second seed in Class 4A Substate 4, which would include a first-round bye and semifinal home game.
They’ll discover their path to state Wednesday night after the coaches in classes 3A and 4A meet.
“I feel like we’re getting hot at the right time,” Foulk said. “We definitely need to keep it going. That starts with practice. We have to work hard every day, show up ready to play. We just got keep playing well and keep feeding Joe.”