Two sophomores helped key the Davenport North boys basketball team to its first win of the season Tuesday night.
Quincy Wiseman had 14 points and three steals and classmate Jayden Houston went for a game-high 19 points to go with seven rebounds as the Wildcats opened Mississippi Athletic Conference play with a 79-48 home win over Burlington.
Both Wiseman and Houston showed what the rest of the MAC likely will have to deal with for the next three seasons. Each buried a 3-pointer from the outside and the duo collected the rest of its points on strong drives and moves to the basket.
"Those are two guys we have had in our feeder system for a long time and we are really excited about them," North coach Joe Ewen said. "They've really worked hard and are really coming along. They are both at every workout and they want to get in the gym as much as possible. That is how you get on the floor and when they've had their opportunities, they have made the most of it."
Wiseman showed a quick first step in attacking the basket and the ability to hit a couple of pull-up jumpers in his offensive arsenal. Houston crashed the glass and also had two blocked shots during the win. Ewen added that Houston had seven steals in the Wildcats' season-opening loss to Cedar Rapids Kennedy. It is clear both sophomores should have a big impact for the Wildcats (1-1).
"Quincy is just a well-rounded player, who can shoot, rebound, just for a sophomore he is a really polished player," Ewen said. "Jayden just really brings that athleticism and you saw that (Tuesday). He can block shots and get after you defensively. He just brings that 'X' factor a little bit."
Houston said both him and Wiseman have been looking forward to helping the Wildcats for a long time.
"Quincy and I go way back, we've been playing together for a long time and we have a lot of chemistry," Houston said. "I know where he is and he knows where I am. Quincy has great shooting range for a big man and, for me, my strong suit is driving to the basket. I can shoot a little bit but I prefer to take it to the basket."
Wiseman and Houston were also part of a defensive effort that held the Grayhounds (1-1) to 35 percent shooting, recorded 10 steals and forced 23 turnovers. TJ Vesey chipped in 10 points while Jamal Litt finished with nine points and Mekki Sisk added another seven points.
Those three along with Cory Prather and Alec Siefert kept Burlington from getting anything going offensively. Brendon Hale led the visitors with nine points.
"Against Kennedy, we weren't tough enough defensively and gave up too many easy ones. Our big focus in practice was giving a better effort defensively and I thought we did that," Ewen said.