Strong on the glass, efficient on offense and solid on defense.
It was business as usual for the Bettendorf girls basketball team.
The Class 5A No. 15 Bulldogs continued to build on their strong season with a 54-42 win over Class 3A No. 8 Assumption on Tuesday night, sweeping the season series at Bettendorf High School after beating the Knights 71-50 in December.
"Our maturation process, it's been really fun to watch the girls mature into the team they are right now," head coach Brian Tritt said. "Nothing really ruffled the feathers tonight, Assumption is obviously a very good team and they made a couple of runs but it was just a very business-like approach tonight."
Assumption (7-5, 5-3 MAC) did lead 2-0 early, but the Bulldogs responded with eight straight points to take a permanent lead, one that grew to 29-18 at halftime and 42-29 after three quarters.
Emily Ivory led the Bulldogs (9-2, 7-1) with 18 points, but all five starters scored and Grace Erpelding and Kiley Wroblewski each added 10 points to join Ivory in double figures.
The Bulldogs outrebounded Assumption 34-27 and though the Bulldogs shot 42.5 percent from the field, they routinely pounded the ball inside and drew 20 fouls on the night, including getting Assumption senior guard Jasmine Harris in foul trouble in the first quarter.
"She's a great player, that was key to get her in foul trouble early," Ivory said. "Coming in, we knew they were going to put up a fight because we beat them pretty bad last time and we knew we were going to use that as motivation. We didn't let our past win ... we started a new game, came out, played our game."
With Harris' aggressiveness limited, the Knights offense lacked efficiency, shooting just 29.4 percent from the field in the game. Harris and Bailey Brown entered the game averaging over 15 points each, but combined for just 16 in the game, Harris leading the Knights with 12. Hannah Wislander came off the bench to add nine points and 11 rebounds.
"This gym is a tough one to shoot in but when the shots aren't falling we've got to find other ways to make it work, dribble penetration," Assumption coach Katelyn McNamara said. "We did that a few times and it worked out well for us but then we couldn't hit the shot on the outside. We've got to figure out those things, figure out what works at that time and take advantage of it."
Assumption's only losses have come to state-ranked teams, but that's a hurdle the Knights have to overcome if they want to make a run in the postseason.
"Right now, we've got a list of things we need to work on," McNamara said. "I think sometimes when we play these teams that are at our level, we just play with them instead of going out with that attacking mentality of competitive and wanting to just take charge of the game."
Though Bettendorf remains tied atop the conference, the Bulldogs might be faced with a depth problem as the season starts to wind down. With junior guard Maddie Banks out with injury and senior Paige Wagner no longer on the team, Bettendorf is going to have to find some options, as nobody off the bench scored in the game.
"We've got 12 girls who all contribute something, whether they're playing in the actual game or not," Tritt said. "They make our rotation a lot better and we're going to have some other girls step up if need be if we get in foul trouble in the future."
Bettendorf 54, Assumption 42
ASSUMPTION (7-5, 5-3) -- Bailey Brown 1-9 1-2 4, Molly Gervase 1-5 0-0 2, Jasmine Harris 5-9 1-2 12, Carlye Brown 0-5 0-0 0, Grace Jacobsen 2-6 2-3 7, Carly King 1-4 0-0 2, Liz Fennelly 0-1 0-0 0, Caroline Crosby 2-7 0-0 6, Hannah Wislander 3-5 3-4 9 Lea Nelson 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 15-51 7-11 42
BETTENDORF (9-2, 7-1) -- Emily Ivory 8-17 0-2 18, Grace Erpelding 4-6 1-4 10, Jordan Ratigan 3-5 2-6 8, Erin Hatch 2-5 4-5 8, Kylie Wroblewski 3-8 4-6 10, Taylor VanZuiden 0-4 0-0 0, Eleanor Drexler 0-1 0-0 0, Precious Bradley 0-0 0-0 0, Selena Johnson 0-0 0-0 0, Autumn Jenson 0-1 0-0 0, Laurel Braaten 0-0 0-0 0, Vanessa Glenn 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 20-47 11-23 54
Three-point goals -- Assumption 5-23 (Crosby 2-6, B. Brown 1-6, Harris 1-3, Jacobsen 1-3, C. Brown 0-4, Gervase 0-1); Bettendorf 3-14 (Ivory 2-7, Erpelding 1-2, VanZuiden 0-3, Hatch 0-2). Rebounds -- Assumption 27 (Wislander 11); Bettendorf 34 (Wroblewski 7, Ratigan 7). Turnovers -- Assumption 12, Bettendorf 11. Team fouls -- Assumption 20, Bettendorf 13. Fouled out -- none.