After passing its first test of the season against Cedar Rapids Kennedy, the North Scott girls basketball team gets a couple more on Saturday.
The Class 4A No. 1 Lancers play just one game and though it's a big one — against No. 5 Cedar Rapids Xavier — they'll also get a chance to see how they fare when they're on the clock.
The Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union agreed in October to implement a 35-second shot clock for all games that are part of Rivalry Saturday, an early-season day of basketball at Kohawk Arena on the campus of Coe College.
North Scott has played in the event the last two seasons and will take on Xavier at 8:20 p.m.
It's the first time in Iowa high school girls basketball history that a shot clock will be used. North Scott plans to practice with the shot clock heading into the game but the team doesn't want it to become a distraction.
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"We're not going to get too focused on it, when they asked me about it, I was like ... I have a hard time playing with different rules and then it's on your record," head coach TJ Case said. "But that's what everybody wanted to do and if that's the direction that we're heading, especially for some of our seniors, they're going to have to face that next year in college."
Case isn't too worried about the shot clock changing the way the Lancers play. They already like to get up and down the court and it likely won't impact them, at least for the first three quarters.
"We play fast enough I don't necessarily know if it's going to bother us that much," Case said. "It just will bother how I want to play late."
This change will only be for the one day and doesn't mean a universal shot clock is at all on the horizon. But it will be a unique opportunity for the Lancers to test themselves in a couple of different ways this weekend.
Strong MAC start: The Mississippi Athletic Conference had a strong start to the season, starting with Davenport Central's 60-53 win over Cedar Rapids Jefferson last Friday. It's the first time the Blue Devils have won their season opener since 2010. Sophomore Aniah Smith led Central with 17 points while freshman Anyiah Wilson added 13 points and six rebounds.
The conference then had four big wins on Tuesday. Besides North Scott surviving against Kennedy, Assumption edged Xavier 52-51, Class 5A No. 15 Bettendorf beat Linn-Mar 45-34, and Davenport North beat Class 5A No. 13 Cedar Rapids Washington 61-60 to grab a win in Paul Rucker's first game as head coach.