Muscatine girls basketball coach Susan Orvis knew her team had little time to enjoy its upset win of No. 15 Bettendorf on Friday night with Davenport Central coming to town Saturday afternoon.
In fact, the Muskies turned the page first thing Saturday morning with a shootaround and walkthrough where Orvis said she saw a team that was “focused and ready to go.”
The coach proved to be correct.
Muscatine scored the game’s first eight points and used a third-quarter avalanche to cruise to a 52-19 win over Davenport Central. The Muskies (5-11, 6-8 MAC) never trailed and outscored the Blue Devils (3-15, 3-12 MAC) 20-4 in the third period to put the game away.
“We talked about coming out in the second half and extending the margin and not letting them back in the ballgame,” Orvis said. “I just appreciate that we were able to come out and make a good first run. We were able to get some quick scores and get out in transition.”
Sophomores Alicia Garcia and Avarie Eagle led the Muskies with 13 points apiece while junior Emily Woepking added 10. Davenport Central’s Acorianna Lard led the team with six points.
“I thought we moved the ball and had good balance again,” Orvis said. “It’s been fun to watch them play a little more freely and shoot and score with some confidence.”
When the teams met in mid-December, Muscatine needed a 13-6 spurt in the fourth quarter to win by six points. The contest was never in question this time around.
“I’m pleased with our progress,” Orvis said. “I told them in the locker room after the game I really like the mentality right now. There’s just the added confidence and they’re starting to see the results.”
Eller out with torn ACL: Orvis informed the Journal that senior Kendra Eller is done for the season due to a torn anterior cruciate ligament. Eller hadn’t appeared in a game since Jan. 4 against Davenport West and averaged 2.3 points per game for the Muskies. She has already had the surgery and is about to embark on the long rehabilitation process.
“It’s tough with a senior and a kid like Kendra because she’s a fantastic kid,” Orvis said. “I think from the very beginning everybody that’s evaluated her and those of us that observed the injury, I don’t think anybody thought this would be what we’re dealing with.”