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Spartans defeat Bettendorf in thrilling double header

Justin English, Staff Contributor

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Both Pleasant Valley teams faced archrival Bettendorf last Tuesday night in two thrilling basketball games.

The girls’ team kickstarted the night with tip off at 6. The first quarter started slowly as both teams struggled to score. The game remained competitive into the second quarter, but six points by Ellie Spelhaug in the final two minutes of the half pushed the Spartans to a six point lead.

The Spartans erupted at the start of the second quarter, smothering Bettendorf with their defense and hitting three consecutive threes in the first few minutes. The Spartans remained in control of the game from that point on, never allowing Bettendorf to close within the nine point lead. The Spartans won decidedly, relying on their stellar defense and a 20-point effort by Ellie Spelhaug.

The Tuesday night win increases their record to 19-1 on the season. The girls are currently tied with North Scott for first in the MAC, and each win is crucial for the conference title. Senior Ellie Spelhaug commented on the team’s victory and their season going forward. “We did a good job of staying composed during the end of the game, which will be very important for us in the postseason. We know a lot of teams are gunning for us, so it’s important that we just stay focused and not let little things get to us, and we did that well last night.” The girls have one final game in the regular season this Friday, and then begin their postseason run to state.

The boys team continued the impressive defense of the girls at the start of their game, forcing Bettendorf standout DJ Carton into two early turnovers. Brian Dayman had nine points in the first quarter, and the Spartans crept out to an 11-7 lead to end first.

Carton began to heat up in the second after a sloppy first quarter with a baseline dunk put Bettendorf back into the lead. However, PV’s impressive defense continued to contain the top 50 recruit, and no one else on the Bettendorf squad was able to create good looks on offense. At the end of the second quarter, PV regained their lead, heading in to the locker room up 14-13 following a very low scoring first half.

In the third quarter, Dayman continued to dominate for PV on offense, reaching 16 points. Lead by Carton, Bettendorf continued to fight, but could not close the gap.

A thunderous alley-oop dunk by Brian Dayman encapsulated a fourth quarter dominated by PV. The Spartans held onto their lead and won the game 33-25. Of particular note was Hunter Sydner’s defense on Carton. Snyder held Carton to 15 points and forced him into several turnovers, including a decisive steal in the fourth quarter.

The boys’ win against Bettendorf exemplified PV basketball. They did not have the most talented player on the court but played hard and played together. Their grittiness and toughness, along with their team play, propelled them to yet another victory.

PV looks to continue to build on their 16-2 record, and junior Hunter Snyder offered his thoughts on their expectations for the rest of the season. “After coming off an average year, our goal all season has been to be one of the top teams and to get back to Des Moines to compete for a state championship.”

Both teams have excelled during MAC play and are looking to make deep postseason runs. As their regular seasons conclude, both basketball programs encourage Spartan fans to continue the support seen on Tuesday night to help both teams push through the post season.

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Spartans defeat Bettendorf in thrilling double header