ELDRIDGE — You had to feel a little sorry for the Burlington boys basketball team.
The Grayhounds had to travel probably close to two hours in not ideal driving weather to face a North Scott team on Tuesday that was still smarting after losing in the final seconds to Bettendorf on Monday night.
The results might have been predictable as the Lancers raced out to an 18-point lead after the first quarter and never looked back in an eventual 63-46 win in Mississippi Athletic Conference action at The Pit.
North Scott (19-1, 16-1 MAC) can earn at least a share of the conference championship with a win over Clinton on Thursday at home. Conference co-leader Bettendorf faces a stiffer challenge in its regular-season finale when the Bulldogs have to travel to take on state-ranked Davenport Central on Thursday.
After losing on a 3-pointer in the final seconds to the Bulldogs just 24 hours earlier, Lancers junior foward Tytan Anderson said the team really could not wait to get back on the court to face the Grayhounds (4-13, 3-12).
"It was nice to just go out and play right away, to kind of get rid of the feeling in our stomachs from Monday," Anderson said. "I think we were motivated to put things behind us and move on."
Anderson, in particular, seemed motivated to put the loss to the Bulldogs behind him. He struggled and finished with two points in the defeat to Bettendorf. Anderson's teammates seemed to determine to establish the power forward right away and Anderson did not disappoint. The first five offensive possessions for North Scott went through Anderson down low at some point.
He had a hand in 12 of North Scott's first 18 points of the game. He scored six points in the first five minutes of the quarter and also assisted on two other 3-pointers when Burlington tried to double-team him. He found Reece Sommers and Carson Rollinger for open threes as the hosts went up 18-6 with 2 minutes, 3 seconds left in the first quarter.
North Scott missed just two shots in the first quarter and led 24-6. Burlington would not mount a serious challenge the rest of the game. Anderson played just three quarters, racking up 18 points, six rebounds and five assists. Cortaviaus Seales chipped in 10 points and five steals for the winners.
"I wanted to set the tone for my teammates but everyone was focused from the start," Anderson said. "It was a great team effort."
Rollinger and Sam Kilburg each added 10 points for the winners as coach Shamus Budded was able to get his entire squad into the game before it was over. Budde said his team had already moved past the loss to Bettendorf and was concentrating on finishing the regular season strong.
Budde actually gave credit to Burlington for making the trip in the first place so that the Lancers could finish the 18-game conference schedule.
"To travel in this weather and play us says something for them," Budde said. "They have some players and we had to come out focused and ready to play and I thought we did that."
Michael Alexander had nine points for the Grayhounds, all on three-pointers. Freshman Amarion Davis added another nine points and five rebounds for the visitors.