ELDRIDGE — When Pleasant Valley handled North Scott 45 days ago, TJ Case felt his girls basketball team played passive and was almost scared.
In a battle of 4th ranked teams, 4A North Scott beats 5A Pleasant Valley 60-54 in Eldridge, Iowa Friday January 26, 2018.
“We just kind of wanted to stay with them the last time,” sophomore Presley Case said. “We knew this time we could beat them.”
And they did.
Even without a senior in its starting lineup, Class 4A fourth-ranked North Scott handed 5A fourth-ranked PV its first loss of the season and jumped into a first-place Mississippi Athletic Conference tie Friday night with a 60-54 victory at The Pit.
As the buzzer sounded, North Scott’s players raced into each other’s arms to celebrate its biggest win of the season.
“This is a great feeling,” sophomore post Grace Boffeli said. “I think a lot of people were expecting them to win. We wanted to prove we could do it.”
North Scott (15-2, 13-1 MAC) made its fair share of mistakes — 22 turnovers, to be exact. That was covered up by some red-hot and timely shooting.
Presley Case dropped in 25 points, 18 coming in the first half. Case and junior Brooke Corson combined to go 7 of 8 from beyond the arc.
The biggest three came in the fourth quarter.
After PV (16-1, 13-1) opened up a 47-41 advantage on a Rory Donahue 3-pointer, Corson made back-to-back triples in a 40-second span to even the game.
“Huge, huge boost for us,” coach Case said.
Then after a Spartan turnover, Presley Case nailed a trifecta from the right wing to give the Lancers a lead they would not relinquish.
“I knew we were going to have to shoot it pretty well tonight to get the win,” Presley said. “We’ve been working really hard with our shot, and it shows.”
North Scott shot a blistering 67 percent in the opening half and finished 22 of 36 for the game.
“They hit big shots tonight,” PV coach Jennifer Goetz said. “When teams shoot like that against you, not only shooting it well but key shots when they needed them, it is a tough team to beat.
“I have a lot of respect for coach Case and what he does here and how hard his kids play.”
Conversely, PV had trouble finishing around the basket. Bradley signee Ellie Spelhaug was 3 of 17 from the field, many of those misses coming from inside 3 to 4 feet of the hoop.
Coach Case thought his team’s length, in particular Boffeli and Sydney Happel, helped alter some of those shots.
“In my head, I counted 14 to 16 layups we missed,” Goetz said. “You can’t do that. Even if it wasn’t quite that many, we left at least 20 points sitting out there.
“We had too many missed opportunities tonight.”
Ellie Spelhaug made a 3-pointer with 2:35 left to bring PV within 52-50. Boffeli followed with a three-point play 20 seconds later to widen the margin to five.
From there, Happel and Boffeli made enough free throws to finish off the win. Boffeli had 13 points and pulled down nine rebounds.
“We had an attack mode mindset tonight,” coach Case said. “We were going to be aggressive, attack gaps when we could, and we were going to put the ball up on the rim.
“We were pretty lucky tonight we had some shots go down.”
North Scott and PV are tied for the league lead with four games left. Both teams still have a game with third-place Bettendorf.
“This gives us great confidence,” Presley Case said. “To beat that good of a team, it shows what we can do and how far we can take this thing.”
Kira Arthofer and Carli Spelhaug led PV with 13 points each. The Spartans return home for their final four regular-season games.
“I’ve got some upset kids right now,” Goetz said. “It is a group of kids that take a lot of things personally. We’re not going to point fingers.
“It is a long season, and we’ve had a heck of a run. It is tough to have that target on your back as big as ours was here. I just felt at times tonight, we pressed a little too much.”