Monday’s adversities led to Tuesday’s success.
After struggling against its scout team in Monday night’s practice, Bettendorf was ready to go for Tuesday’s Mississippi Athletic Conference contest against visiting Muscatine. The Bulldogs rolled to a 67-32 victory over the Muskies.
“We didn’t practice overly well yesterday,” Bettendorf head coach Curtis Clark said. “Our scout team, our Gold Squad, really put it to us in practice yesterday. I think that prepared us for the game tonight.”
While the Bulldogs struggled on Monday night, that wasn’t evident on Tuesday. Bettendorf (7-11, 7-6 MAC) roared out of the locker room to a quick 11-0 lead.
“Yesterday was a good preparation for us,” Bettendorf senior guard Ethan Horner said. “Our Gold Squad guys do a good job of preparing us for the games, and yesterday they gave us a good look in practice and helped us out.”
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Just seconds into the game, Horner found Carter Furness for a 3-pointer. Lucas Hayes added a free throw, and then Horner drove the baseline for a layup to make it 6-0. Tynan Numkena scored a conventional three-point play, and then Horner hung in the air to hit a jumper in the lane that put Bettendorf up 11-0.
“We struggle against Bettendorf, to be honest with you,” Muscatine head coach John Windham said. “Every time we play them, they come out in the first quarter, get in our grill, and we have to chase them the rest of the game. It’s been that way twice this year, and the same thing last year, too. They came out and did what they needed to do.”
Bettendorf, which won its third straight, held Muscatine to a season-low 32 points. Noah Yahn scored 11 points to lead the Muskies (4-14, 3-10 MAC), and Josh Dieckman, who entered Tuesday’s contest averaging 12.9 points and 7.1 rebounds per game, spent much of the game in foul trouble and finished with five points and one rebound.
“We spent a lot of time talking about defense,” Clark said of his pre-game talk. “I felt like we had kind of slipped on that. I challenged the guys on a few different things, and they obviously responded really well.”
Furness went 3-for-4 from beyond the 3-point arc and scored 14 points to lead Bettendorf. Reserve Harrison Bey-Buie added 12 points, all of which came in the first half. Numkena finished with 11 points, and Horner matched his career high with nine. Ten players scored for the Bulldogs.
“We moved it around, and we had pretty balanced scoring tonight,” Horner said. “We trust everybody who plays out there, so if anybody has an open shot, we expect them to shoot it and knock it down. We just felt ready to go tonight.”