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Carter Duwa shot a school-record 93.5 percent from the foul line last year.

After Duwa missed the first of two free throws with 3.5 seconds left in overtime Tuesday night, Davenport Assumption called timeout. 

As Duwa made his way to the Pleasant Valley boys basketball team's bench, he confidently uttered to Steve Hillman, "Coach, I got it."

Duwa had misfired on four of his previous five tries, but he stepped up and buried the second one as PV escaped with a 46-45 victory over Assumption at PV High School. 

"Honestly, I've watched Carter shoot free throws for 15 years and never seen him do that," Hillman said of the late misses. "It was just a little hiccup. We'll put Carter Duwa at the line anytime to win a basketball game."

The Spartans (2-0, 1-0) feasted on free throws in the Mississippi Athletic Conference opener.

PV made just nine field goals in the contest, but it was 25 of 31 at the charity stripe compared to only three attempts for Assumption (0-2, 0-1).

With Duwa and Hunter Snyder, the Spartans tried to spread the Knights' defense out. When Assumption pressured, Duwa and Snyder drove the ball and often drew contact near the basket.

Duwa attempted 16 free throws. Snyder was 6 of 7 en route to 12 points and a game-high 13 rebounds. 

"Those guards did a good job of getting into the teeth of our defense and creating some fouls," Assumption coach Matt Fitzpatrick said. "Some of them were close, but we got to be a little smarter in some spots, too.

"We have to understand we have length and help is coming. We need to trust our help is behind us."

Duwa finished with a game-high 20 points. He made his first 10 foul shots before his late lull.

"I was going a little too fast on the ones I missed," Duwa said. "I've shot a million free throws in my life. I just had to go back to the basics."

The Spartans survived at the end.

Sean Peeters made back-to-back 3-pointers to give Assumption a 35-33 lead late in regulation. Duwa answered with a triple and Jacob Parker converted an inside basket. 

Then with less than 12 seconds remaining in regulation, Assumption's Dylan Peeters sank a 3-pointer from the top of the key to force overtime. 

Dylan Peeters had a team-high 19 points. Sean Peeters chipped in 10 points and a team-high six rebounds.

"Give Assumption a lot of credit because every time it needed a big jump shot in the final two to three minutes, they drained it," Hillman said. 

Dylan Peeters made a baseline jumper with 22 seconds left in overtime to knot the game at 45. Duwa attacked the basket and was fouled to set up the winning point.

"I know I've got to be really aggressive this year of driving into the lane and either creating for myself or other people," Duwa said.

Assumption had one last chance. With a foul to give, PV used it with 0.5 seconds left.

Then on an inbounds play from its bench, Peeters came off a screen and clanked a 3-pointer from the right wing as the horn sounded.

"We wanted to get the ball in Dylan's hands," Fitzpatrick said. "He is our senior leader, and we really trust him with the ball. He got us into OT. 

"It was close. It was right there."

Despite the free throw disparity and Anthony Valainis scoring only one basket after 22 points in the season opener, Fitzpatrick was pleased with his team.

"We showed a lot of grit and toughness," he said. "Our guys kept playing and competing. We played well enough to win. This is a tough place to come away with a win, but it is definitely something we can build on."

Duwa called it an important early-season win for PV.

"It gives us a lot of momentum moving forward," he said. "It is really going to help us."


Sports Editor

Prep sports editor, with emphasis on covering the Mississippi Athletic Conference and Iowa area high schools. I've been in sports journalism for 17 years, the last five at the Quad-City Times.