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The end result may not have been what the Muscatine girls basketball team hoped for, but coach Susan Orvis still felt her team took a step in the right direction in Tuesday's 45-28 loss at North Scott.

"I was very pleased with how we competed," Orvis said. "I thought we played a strong game defensively and saw some bright spots offensively. Hopefully (this is) a step forward for this group."

North Scott (5-0, 3-0) led by just six, 22-16, at halftime but used a 12-5 third quarter to gain some breathing room over Muscatine (0-5, 0-3).

From there, the Lancers cruised to a 17-point win. Still, Orvis saw plenty of positives.

Alicia Garcia (12 points) and Macy Rogers (10 points) were more aggressive going to the basket than they had been all season, something Orvis said had been an emphasis in practice this week.

Also, Orvis was pleased with the Muskies' defensive job on Grace Boffeli, who entered the game as Lancers' leading scorer at 20.5 points per game. Orvis credited Kayla Scholz for playing a  major role in holding Boffeli to 12 points.

"We also also were able to put two fouls on Boffeli midway through the first half," Orvis said. "I was pleased with the effort and intensity defensively."

Muscatine is back in action Friday on the road against Clinton.

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