DAVENPORT, Iowa — Muscatine head coach John Windham knew his team would have to weather an emotional start on Assumption's Senior Night.
It proved to be a difficult task.
The Knights scored the first 20 points of the game, rolling to a 67-43 win over Muscatine Tuesday at Assumption High School.
"Their seniors came out all pumped up ... and if you leave a man open who can shoot, they're going to knock it down," Muscatine head coach John Windham said. "Their length gives us trouble ... it's hard to get anything going."
The Knights (11-8, 9-7) were spurred on even more by the start of senior Adam Quested, who tore his ACL earlier this season. Quested was taken out of the game immediately following the opening tip, but it gave the crowd an early reason to cheer, and fired up the rest of the team.
"He's worked all four years he's been here, he goes to every workout, doesn't miss a day and it sucks, to have that other half of his season taken from him," said junior Sean Peeters, who led the Knights with 21 points. "That's a big motivator too, because we know he's not going to be able to step on the court and play with us any more so every game we go out we want to make sure we're not letting him down."
Peeters and Ray Kotula led the charge in the first quarter, combining for 18 of the 20 points in the opening run, which was ended by a basket from Josh Dieckman with 1 minute, 21 seconds left in the frame.
Dieckman had all six Muscatine (0-18, 0-15) points in the first quarter as Assumption led 24-6, and finished with 17 points and eight rebounds, an encouraging sign from the sophomore forward as the Muskies were challenged by the length of the Knights.
"That's the first time he's really had a chance to get some points against some big kids, I thought he played an exceptionally good game," Windham said. "We've been waiting and he's had two back-to-back games. He had a good game against Burlington and he had a good game tonight."
After the opening run, the Muskies settled into the game and never let the Assumption lead get over 29 points.
That opening run, however, was too much for Muscatine to ever really threaten, three of the five starting seniors for Assumption combining for 31 points.
"When you play a team with seniors that have played a lot of varsity minutes, there's a big difference," Windham said. "They know where everyone's at at all times.
"At one point, we had no seniors on the floor and I thought we competed with them. That's what we're trying to do, is just try and compete every time."
Nate Diercks scored seven points and Noah Yahn added six for the Muskies.
"We need somebody else to step up to shoot because right now, all season it's been Noah Yahn and everybody is locking in on him," Windham said. "Until we find two other guys to shoot, it's going to be tough to Noah to score."