For three quarters, Bettendorf put the squeeze on visiting North Scott.
But it was the Lancers’ pressure that won out in the end. Class 4A fourth-ranked North Scott trailed 34-28 late in the third quarter of Tuesday’s Mississippi Athletic Conference girls basketball game, but its full-court press stymied the Class 5A 13th-ranked Bulldogs down the stretch. The Lancers finished the game with a 20-5 run to pull out a 48-39 win.
“We were just trying to stir up some offense, really,” said North Scott head coach T.J. Case, whose team shot just 38 percent from the field in the win. “I thought in the half court it was tough for us tonight. They do a really good job of switching a bunch of screens. They plugged the paint up quite a bit. They helped off of the dribble drive. So I was just trying to see if there was any way we could stir up a couple of turnovers and get us some cheap baskets, and we were able to do that a few times.”
The Bulldogs led 34-31 heading into the fourth quarter, but turned the ball over on their first three possessions of the period. North Scott’s Grace Boffeli got inside for a layup to trim the lead to one, and after a Brooke Corson steal, reserve Adriane Latham scored got a layup to put the Lancers (16-2, 14-1 MAC) ahead for good.
Bettendorf (14-4, 11-4 MAC) went 0-for-9 from the field in the fourth quarter and was held without a field goal over the game’s final 9:30.
“We haven’t seen a whole lot of pressure this year,” Bettendorf head coach Brian Tritt said. “The first time around, when we played North Scott, they pressured us a little bit and we handled it. Tonight we didn’t handle it.”
But for three quarters, it looked as though Bettendorf could knock off the Lancers, who sit tied atop the conference standings. Emily Ivory and Kylie Wroblewski scored all of the Bulldogs’ points in the first quarter, and Bettendorf led 12-10 after eight minutes of play. And even with Ivory, the Bulldogs’ leading scorer, missing the entire second quarter after picking up her second personal foul, Bettendorf still led 21-18 at the break.
North Scott reserve Maddie Case hit a pair of 3-pointers in the third quarter to give the Lancers their first lead of the game, but Ivory knocked down a 3-pointer of her own with a hand in her face to tie the game. The shot put Ivory over 1,000 points for her career.
“It’s a really good accomplishment for my career, but I wasn’t looking too much at it,” said Ivory, who hit four 3-pointers and finished with 16 points. “I just really wanted to get the win, which unfortunately we didn’t do. But it was a great atmosphere to get it in. I’m glad I got it in our last home game.”
Ivory hit another 3-pointer later in the quarter, putting the Bulldogs up 34-28, but it would be the final field goal the home team scored in the contest. Ivory was held to just two field goal attempts in the fourth quarter.
“We shut them down the last few minutes,” Boffeli said. “It just feels great because they have a lot of powerful players. It was kind of hard for us to stop them, but it feels good because we did it.”
Boffeli scored a game-high 17 points to lead the Lancers, and she also pulled down nine rebounds. Rylie Rucker added 10 points, all of which came in the second half after an 0-for-5 first half. And the Lancers got numerous other contributions as well.
“I thought the girls were gritty tonight,” T.J. Case said. “I thought they battled and hit some shots when they needed them. Some key shots came from girls who come off the bench. My oldest had two, (Alyssa) Perrin had one, Corson had a couple that went down. It was a true team win tonight for us.”