Muscatine coach Gary Belger has repeatedly said over the last couple of weeks his boys basketball team is behind, but the Muskies wasted no time getting ahead in their season opener Friday night.

Muscatine jumped out to a 30-point lead over Washington by halftime and cruised to a 63-23 win in its season opener.

"We had a real good first quarter," Belger said. "We were ready to play, that's the main thing. We made it hard for them defensively and rebounded the ball well."

Joe Wieskamp scored 37 points and had 27 by halftime. He's currently at 1,610, just nine points away from tying Ricky Davis' MAC record 1,619 points.

But the Muskies got production outside of their star.

Belger was pleased with senior Lex Hahn, who scored 10 points and "ran the floor well," and Josh Hutton, who scored just four points but ran the show well at point guard.

Most importantly for Muscatine, it was able to make life tough for Washington by getting in the passing lanes, which Belger knows will be crucial for his team as the schedule gets tougher.

"We have a lot of tough games with the way the schedule is made up," Belger said. "We're playing almost every game away from home until the middle of January so it becomes really important to play solid defense."