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Spartans dominate glass in win over Muscatine
BOYS: PLEASANT VALLEY 74, MUSCATINE 41

Spartans dominate glass in win over Muscatine

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It's tough to say a team with no losses had hit a bit of a rough patch. But with its last three wins coming by just single digits, the Class 4A second-ranked Pleasant Valley boys basketball team readily admits it wasn't playing its best basketball.

"These last few games, we just didn't feel like we had much energy as a team," junior center Carter Milam said. "This past week in practice we were just trying to work on our energy and it just felt like we were playing more upbeat."

The Spartans (16-0, 11-0 MAC) used that rekindled source of energy to cruise to a 74-41 home win over Muscatine on Tuesday night, a game in which Pleasant Valley never trailed.

PV held a distinct size advantage over Muscatine and exploited it, outrebounding the Muskies 32-6 and keeping Muscatine off the glass until Joe Wieskamp pulled down a miss at the 7-minute, 45-second mark of the fourth quarter.

Milam led the Spartans with 17 points and had seven rebounds, one of four Spartans in double figures, which included John Czarnecki's 10 points and team-leading eight boards.

"We've been struggling the last couple of game, we haven't been playing like we should," Czarnecki said. "We've just got to keep it going. We've had a rough couple of weeks and there's been some pressure with that but hopefully we continue to get better."

Pleasant Valley led 15-5 after the first quarter before turnovers helped Muscatine (5-11, 3-8) close the gap to 23-17 with 3:18 left in the second quarter.

Spartan coach Steve Hillman said an issue recently had been the Spartans letting teams hang around, but that wasn't the case Tuesday as Pleasant Valley ended the first half on a 7-0 run to lead 30-17 at halftime before opening up the third quarter on a 15-1 run.

"It was nice to have a game where, I thought, we got a lead and instead of letting teams hang around or come back, we were able to come out and extend (the lead)," Hillman said. "The last couple of games, it's gone from eight (points) to four (points), so it was nice to have that little bit of cushion."

Joe Wieskamp led nine Muskies in the scoring column with 16 points but the size of Pleasant Valley prevented Muscatine from being able to penetrate, forcing Muscatine to shoot jumpers. Muscatine was just 35 percent from the field while the Spartans seemingly never missed, shooting 27-of-39 (69.2 percent) from the field.

"The number one reason PV is undefeated right now is how disciplined they play and how good they are defensively," Muscatine coach Brandon Welsch said. "They have some mismatches on the floor and they really, almost every possession found a mismatch and pounded it down our throats."

Pleasant Valley 74, Muscatine 41

MUSCATINE (5-11, 3-8 MAC) -- Brandon Kovach 0-1 0-1 1, Matt Wieskamp 1-4 0-3 2, Spencer Beatty 1-4 0-0 3, Ben Morgan 0-1 0-0 0, Matthew Shellabarger 2-3 0-0 6, Garrett Roberson 1-1 2-2 4, Duncan Snider 1-2 0-0 2, Joe Wieskamp 5-14 5-5 16, Kirkland Thompson 1-2 0-1 2, Brandon Mueller 0-0 0-0 0, Nicholas Houzenga 1-1 2-2 5, Drew Wichers 0-4 0-0 0. Totals 13-37 10-14 41

PLEASANT VALLEY (16-0, 11-0) -- Kyle Dippel 3-5 0-0 6, Chase Kipper 0-1 2-2 2, Mikey Cronk 0-1 1-1 1, Kevin Stewart 0-0 0-0 0, Will Carius 6-10 3-4 16, Austin Carroll 1-1 0-0 3, Jeffrey Kardell 4-6 1-1 12, DiAnte Fields 1-1 1-2 3, Kyle Mickle 1-2 2-2 4, John Czarnecki 4-4 2-2 10, Carter Milam 7-8 3-4 17. Totals 27-39 15-18 74

Muscatine;5;12;9;15;--;41

Pleasant Valley;15;15;23;21;--;74

Three-point goals -- Muscatine 5-15 (Shellabarger 2-3, J. Wieskamp 1-4, Beatty 1-2,  Houzenga 1-1, Wichers 0-4, Kovach 0-1); Pleasant Valley 4-11 (Dippel 0-1, Kipper 0-1, Cronk 0-1, Carius 1-4, Kardell 3-3, Mickle 0-1). Rebounds -- Muscatine 6 (J. Wieskamp 2), Pleasant Valley 32 (Czarnecki 8, Milam 7). Turnovers -- Muscatine 8, PV 9. Team fouls -- Muscatine 15, PV 13. Fouled out -- none.

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