Emily Wood had not gone out for basketball the past couple of seasons. She concentrated on softball during the winter months two years ago and a shoulder injury prevented her from playing last season.
"My senior year, I wanted to do four sports," Wood said. "I really love (basketball), and it gets me shape for track."
Wood has become an integral part of the Pleasant Valley girls basketball team.
First off the Spartans' bench, Wood scored a game- and career-high 16 points and came up with a half-dozen steals as PV downed Bettendorf 52-32 on Friday night in a Mississippi Athletic Conference tilt at Bettendorf High School.
"She gives us an initial wham, a spark right away," PV coach Jennifer Goetz said. "She has bought into that role, and kudos to her for that."
Softball is Wood's future. She has signed a national letter of intent to play for Iowa State University starting next fall.
The southpaw also has been a fixture on PV's volleyball and track and field teams, but her athleticism and length have spurred the Spartans on the hardwood.
Averaging just more than 8 points and 5 rebounds per game, Wood had three steals that led to transition layups as the Spartans (7-2, 4-2) built a 30-16 halftime cushion.
"We were just really active, had our arms up the whole time," Wood said. "It was more like we were dictating what they were doing instead of reacting to their offense. It allowed us to anticipate, get steals and points off transition."
Bettendorf (3-1, 3-1) finished with 24 turnovers and was just 11 of 50 shooting, including a meager 4 of 25 from beyond the arc.
"We really tried to limit drives and as many shots as we could," PV's Riley Vice said. "I thought our defensive energy was really good tonight."
Coming off a road win over Muscatine, Bettendorf never could get into an offensive rhythm between the turnovers and missed shots.
"(PV) is a lot longer in person than what they look like on film and what is listed on the roster," Bettendorf coach Brian Tritt said. "It is hard to simulate that length and athleticism in practice, but I thought we took some ill-advised shots and had some bad passes.
"For us, it is about being patient with this group. We've got a super young team, and a group we really like. We were a little too rushed in our decision-making tonight."
Halle Vice had 12 points while Riley Vice chipped in 11 points and eight rebounds for the Spartans, who closed the first half on a 10-2 flurry.
"Our first-half defense, arguably, was some of the best we've played all year," Goetz said. "We were so active and this team is so long.
"Until you come see us in person or play against it, you don't realize that."
Bettendorf crawled within nine points midway through the third quarter on an Izzy Appel basket, but the Bulldogs made only one more field goal the remainder of the game.
Wood triggered a 13-2 surge with a steal and layup.
"(Emily) has so much more athleticism that she hasn't shown everybody yet on the basketball court," Goetz said. "She's starting to understand I can go get that ball, and we're starting to see it more and more.
"She had six steals tonight. That would have been like two or three a few weeks ago."
Hattie Aanestad led the Bulldogs with 12 points.
Goetz said that balanced effort is what it will take for this Spartan team to have consistent success.
"It isn't just one or two kids, it is the whole program and all 14 kids," she noted. "I thought our bench energy was awesome tonight, and I think it is a group right now starting to see maybe we can be pretty good.
"The more we buy into it, the more fun that can happen for this group."
PV has won five of its last six games, all by double figures.
"We've definitely improved a lot since Christmas," Wood said, "but we haven't gotten to our full potential yet."
Pleasant Valley 52, Bettendorf 32
PLEASANT VALLEY (6-2, 4-2) -- Jessi Meyer 2-5 3-4 7, Jessie Clemons 1-3 2-4 4, Addie Kerkhoff 1-6 0-1 2, Halle Vice 3-7 4-4 12, Riley Vice 5-9 1-2 11, Emily Wood 8-14 0-2 16, Anna Carius 0-0 0-2 0, Megan Schiltz 0-2 0-0 0, Isabel Russmann 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 20-46 10-19 52.
BETTENDORF (3-1, 3-1) -- Hattie Aanestad 4-17 2-4 12, Faith Furness 2-8 2-2 7, Izzy Appel 3-8 1-2 8, Kate McAleer 1-8 0-1 2, Nevaeh Morgan 0-1 0-0 0, Lillie Petersen 1-4 0-2 2, Avery Horner 0-3 0-2 0, Maylee Callahan 0-0 0-0 0, Tessa Teagarden 0-1 1-2 1, Rosetta Shulte 0-0 0-0 0, Anna Scholl 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 11-50 6-15 32.
3-point goals -- PV 2-8 (H. Vice 2-5, Kerkhoff 0-2, Clemons 0-1); Bett 4-25 (Aanestad 2-9, Furness 1-6, Appel 1-4, McAleer 0-4, Horner 0-1, Teagarden 0-1). Rebounds -- PV 40 (R. Vice 8, H. Vice 6); Bett 35 (Petersen 6, Morgan 5). Turnovers -- PV 22, Bett 24. Total fouls -- PV 14, Bett 20. Fouled out -- none.
JV -- PV 47, Bettendorf 42