Muscatine head coach Susan Orvis said her team needed to learn quickly after failing to solve Pleasant Valley's zone defense resulted in a 32-point loss Friday night.

With less than 24 hours to prepare for Linn-Mar, another zone team, it seemed possible Muscaine would be starring at 0-4 come Saturday night.

Instead, the Muskies looked like a totally different team Thursday night while earning their first win of the season, 50-47.

"I was really pleased with how the kids responded to a tough one Friday night," Orvis said. "It was a short turnaround and they really came out and gave great effort."

Orvis was most pleased with Muscatine's third quarter execution where it was able to turn a 19-18 halftime lead into a 42-26 lead entering the fourth quarter.

The Muskies were sparked by the hot shooting of freshman Zoey Long, who led them with 16 points and made five of her eight three-pointers. Junior Macey Rogers added 14 points and 10 rebounds, and senior Paige Miller had her best game of the season so far with nine points and five assists.

“It was nice to see Zoey and Paige hit some shots outside and we got on a nice run there in the third,” Orvis said. “I think we did a nice job in the second half of moving the ball against their zone.”

Freshman Alicia Garcia continued to build off astrong start to her freshman campaign, as she scored 10 points and grabbed three rebounds. It was a night and day difference from Friday night to Saturday afternoon, and Orvis said that was mostly due to ball movement.

“We need to attack zones and shoot with confidence,” Orvis said. “It’s very much timing and finding people in the right spots. It was just good to see that after we had trouble with that the night before.”

However, there are still some things Muscatine needs to clean up, as a 16-point lead turned into a tight three-point win. Orvis said defense, namely fouling, was the main issue. But she’ll take a win to go along with the lessons.

“They just kept chipping away between getting to the rim and the free throw line,” Orvis said. “We have to understand how to manage that a little better. There’s a lot of late game management lessons to take moving forward.”


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