Maquoketa Valley’s boys’ basketball team earned a pair of wins last week over Central City and Starmont.
On Feb. 1 the Wildcats held a make-up game against Central City winning, 62-32.
MV held Central City to single-digit points in three of the four quarters. MV scored the first 10 points taking a 16-9 lead into the second. AJ Ambundo stole the show with his team-high 16 points going 3-of-5 from the three-point line.
In the second period, the Wildcats’ full-court pressure gave Central City fits, due in part to Jacorrey Wallace and Lucas Orcutt. Ambundo hit a three at the buzzer to give the Wildcats a 31-20 lead at the half.
The Wildcats continued to play solid ball in the third controlling both ends of the court, and limited Central City to just 12 second-half points while scoring 31.
“We were looking to have a good start tonight against Central City and we mostly did that,” coach Eric Conner said. “I thought we did some good things offensively, but struggled to adjust to the quickness of their guards. We made some adjustments at halftime and we played an excellent second half defensively. I was really pleased with our scoring and how it was so evenly spread in tonight’s game.”
MV’s leaders against Central City were: points — Ambundo 16, Avery Holtz 13, Wallace 11, Andrew Holtz eight, Mitch Heims five, Owen Mensen, Orcutt, Brock Trenkamp three; assists — Andrew Holtz six, Avery Holtz two, Wallace, Orcutt, Heims one; rebounds — Heims five, Ambundo, Orcutt four, Andrew Holtz, Miguel Bojorquez, Wallace three, Avery Holtz two, Mensen, Trenkamp, Devante Strickland one; steals — Avery Holtz, Ambundo three, Andrew Holtz two, Orcutt, Heims one; blocks — Ambundo one.
On Feb. 2 MV hosted Starmont and earned a 58-31 victory on Senior Night.
Senior Andrew Holtz led the way with a team-high 20 points, going 8-of-13 from the field and 4-of-8 from three-point range. In the first solid rebounding under the boards provided the Wildcats with plenty of second-chance points as they took a 20-7 lead into the second. All five starters put points on the board in the first and moved the ball around well in the second. Andrew Holtz hit a three at the buzzer to give the Wildcats a commanding 36-19 lead at the half. That lead grew to 44-21 with eight minutes left to play.
Ambundo hit a beautiful three from deep with under four minutes left which allowed Conner to give his seniors a chance to exit the game with the crowd showing their appreciation.
“We talked about wanting to get another good start to the game and dominate on the defensive end. We jumped out to an early 10-0 lead and I thought we got a bit complacent and struggled to get back into a good flow offensively the rest of the game. At the end of the day, we took care of business and had back-to-back 20 plus point victories on our home floor, which is something that we haven’t been able to do for numerous years. I’m proud of this team and how much they have grown as players through this tough year, and am looking forward to the games next week to carry some positive momentum into the postseason,” said Conner.
The Wildcats’ leaders against Starmont were: points — Andrew Holtz 20, Avery Holtz 13, Heims six, Ambundo five, Bojorquez, Orcutt four, Wallace, Heims, Strickland two; assists — Avery Holtz five, Andrew Holtz four, Orcutt, Heims two, Ambundo, Strickland one; rebounds — Avery Holtz, Wallace five, Ambundo, Andrew Holtz, Bojorquez three, Mensen, Orcutt two, Landen Deutmeyer, Tony Offerman, Trenkamp, Strickland, Andrew Hildebrand one; steals — Avery Holtz, Wallace, Mensen, Orcutt two, Ambundo, Andrew Holtz one.