The Spartan boys basketball team’s remarkable 2021 season


Janice Bokeoff

The 2021/2022 Pleasant Valley seniors pose on senior night after beating Muscatine 73-45.

Owen Gannaway, Sports Editor

The boys basketball team had a tremendous season, going 20-0 in the regular season and winning the MAC. The team was led by seniors Ryan Dolphin, Joel Lawlor and JT Muszalski as well as junior Connor Borbeck and sophomore David Gorsline. 

The Spartans featured a fluid passing and possession style of play that led them to average 57 points per game. Averaging over 40% from beyond the arc, the Spartans three-point shooting abilities were their greatest weapon this year. Dolphin and Borbeck combined for 108 of the Spartans’ 173 threes. 

Dolphin had a fantastic season, leading his team with an average of 17 points a game, which helped him to win both KWQC athlete of the week and Iowa pacesetter of the week. “Ryan was a great leader of this team by always bringing positivity and being vocal which was huge for such an inexperienced team,” said junior Connor Borbeck. Although it is the last of four years for the Dolphin, he certainly left his mark on the program. 

Despite an unfortunate ending to the season, the Spartans were outstanding, going a perfect 20-0; the Spartans swept the MAC. “The season was great and I enjoyed every second of it. Despite falling short of our goal, it doesn’t define us or our amazing year,” said Dolphin. Dolphin is absolutely right; this team has much to be proud about this season. 

One of the greatest moments of this season was the victory in the Illinois versus Iowa shootout tournament. “I loved playing in the Illinois vs. Iowa shootout because it was a very unique environment and we came away with a huge win over Rock Island for the win,” said Muszalski. It was a defining win for the Spartans as they climbed the power index.

The 2021-2022 Spartans boys basketball team closed their year 20-1 losing a heart-breaker against Burlington in the Substate Final. This suboptimal loss does not take away from the fact that they swept the MAC as well as won the Illinois versus Iowa shootout. Their brilliant campaign will go down in history.