Davenport North girls basketball coach Ron O'Brien had the newspaper clipping of North Scott upsetting his squad earlier this season inside the locker room the past two days.

"It was one of those losses we didn't want to have and you could see how happy they were to win," senior Jinaya Houston said. "It got a fire under us."

The rematch turned out to be one-sided.

Class 5A fourth-ranked North clobbered 4A sixth-ranked North Scott 65-36 Tuesday night at North High School to remain in a first-place Mississippi Athletic Conference tie with Bettendorf and Pleasant Valley at the midway point.

"If they couldn't find motivation tonight, I don't know what it would take to motivate them," said O'Brien, whose team lost 65-59 in overtime to North Scott on Dec. 6 at The Pit. "We've been reminding them the last two days about what happened earlier in the season."

Message received.

North Scott hung close for a quarter, but North outscored the visitors 15-4 in the second quarter and 19-4 in the third to build a 27-point cushion.

The Wildcats (8-2, 7-1 MAC) were engaged defensively, forcing 18 turnovers and holding the Lancers to 14 of 52 shooting (26.9 percent).

"I felt like we did a way better job defending them this time than we did last time," senior Jacionna Stowers said. "It was more of a revenge thing, so we really locked in and got our heads into the game."

Houston finished with a game-high 23 points and 13 rebounds along with four assists and three steals. The Iowa signee was particularly effective on the offensive glass, creating second and third opportunities.

Much of that mentality stemmed after watching the film of Saturday night's setback to Rock Island in the IHMVCU Shootout.

"My motivation this game was the loss we took on Saturday and seeing how aggressive Brea Beal was," Houston said. "I was really trying to apply that to my game and getting those offensive rebounds. Those putbacks are easy points you can get."

North was 3 of 17 from the 3-point line, but finished with a 42-32 rebounding advantage and outscored North Scott (8-4, 5-3) 16-7 at the foul line.

"We're challenging everybody to go harder on the glass," O'Brien said. "I think Jinaya has taken that to heart. She's one of those people we've got to have around the rim anyway because of her length."

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Paige Bradford and Stowers joined Houston in double figures with 19 and 12 points, respectively.

After trailing 15-10 5-plus minutes into the game, North scored the next 16 points and never was threatened.

"A lot of people are starting to gain more confidence in themselves," Houston said. "Having that confidence and motivation like we have the past couple of games will get us far in the second half of the season."

North Scott fell two games in back of the league leaders. The Lancers missed their first 13 tries from beyond the arc and finished 1 of 21.

Leading scorer Karli Rucker finished with a team-high nine points but didn't score in the second half.

"We played a really good first quarter, but after that we couldn't throw it in the ocean," North Scott coach TJ Case said. "If you don't make shots against them, they're going to rattle off a bunch on you.

"We were ready to go but we just have to shoot better. I can't do it for them. I can draw it up, but they've got to get it in the basket."