Bettendorf's Kaalyn Petersen scored only two points in the Bulldogs' game against Davenport Assumption on Tuesday night.
But the Bulldogs would not have snagged the road win in the Mississippi Athletic Conference opener for both teams without the efforts of Petersen in every other part of the game.
Petersen grabbed 11 rebounds, swatted away four blocks, dished out four assists and contributed three steals to help lead Bettendorf to the 54-41 victory. The 15th-ranked team in Class 5A moved to 3-0 overall while Assumption fell to 2-1.
The Bulldogs' Maggie Erpelding led the visitors with 23 points, including 19 in the second half, but it was Petersen's workman-like effort in the post that keyed the win, according to Erpelding.
"That was huge," Erpelding said of Petersen's game. "When she gets rebounds and steals and blocks those shots, those turn into more opportunities for us. Once she got going, everyone else kind of followed her effort."
Two of Petersen's assists in the second half led to 3-pointers from Erpelding and they came a key point in the game for the Dogs. Assumption had cut Bettendorf's third-quarter lead to 36-32 after the Knights had trailed close to double digits most of the quarter.
But in the final possession of the third quarter, Petersen caught the ball in the post but then passed out of the double team to find Erpelding in the corner, who buried a 3-pointer with 10 seconds left to push the visitors lead back to 39-32 at the end of the quarter.
Assumption was still within striking distance, trailing 41-34 with just under six minutes remaining in the contest when Petersen turned in a big hustle play. The senior rebounded her own missed shot by flying out of bounds to save the ball to Erpelding, who calmly buried another three from the wing to push the Bulldogs lead back to 44-34. The Knights would not seriously challenge the rest of the game.
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Erpelding, who was also Petersen's volleyball teammate for a long time, said her skill set from that sport has translated well into basketball.
"She was a middle blocker so she has to be quick off her feet and that's why she can get those rebounds and beat players to the ball," Erpelding added.
Bulldogs' coach Brian Tritt thinks Petersen's time last year battling with one of the better post players in the area, Kylie Wroblewski, has paid dividends. Wroblewski now is playing at St. Ambrose.
"Kaalyn played behind an exceptional player last year in Wroblewski and that helped shaped her into the player she is this season. But she was just a beast tonight when we needed her," Tritt said.
Petersen, for her part, stayed humble after her performance.
"Whatever is going to help the team play better, I am going to do," she said. "There were a lot of good plays by everybody."
The Bulldogs trailed 15-14 after the first quarter but went 6-for-10 from the field in the second quarter to lead 28-19 at halftime. The visitors got big buckets from Grace McKenzie, Kate Schermerhorn and Izzy Appel in the second quarter to take control. But Erpelding got hot in the second half, nailing three three-pointers and going strong to the basket to rack up those 19 points. Erpelding also had seven boards.
"That's what a senior does," Tritt said of Erpelding. "But she has been making big shots for a long time."
After Assumption scored 15 points in the first quarter, the hosts managed 26 points the rest of the contest. The Knights went 1-for-10 from the field in the second quarter to fall behind. Assumption also went 3-for-16 from the three-point line for the game, were out-rebounded 35-29 and seemed a step slow to 50-50 balls at key times. Katie Anderson had eight points to lead Assumption while Corey Whitlock added six points and nine rebounds.
"No one really stepped up offensively to help us stay in the game," Knights coach Katelyn McNamara said. "Honestly, I think we were tired. We are not nearly in basketball shape as we would like to be. We got out-hustled and we were making lazy plays, the easy plays instead of the right plays. But give credit to Bettendorf, they are a talented team and they just played harder."