As Alleman and Assumption go in search of naming the trophy that goes to the winner of their regular-season battle after the resumption of the Quad-Cities Catholic high-school series, they may want to look to the Book of Daniel in the Old Testament.|
Something there surely must give an indication of how this rivalry returned after 16 years given the performance of the Knights' star player, Billy Daniel, in Assumption's 58-29 victory on Tuesday night.
The Biblical Daniel was fed to the lions. At Don Morris Gym, Assumption's Daniel was fed time and time again by his teammates for easy baskets en route to a game-high 22 points that came in just over three quarters of action.
"He's an intelligent player who knows how to find defensive weaknesses," Alleman coach Pat Rangel said of the Knights' standout who has committed to Truman State University. "We know his tendencies, but he still found his shot."
How much did Daniel dominate in the first regular-season matchup of Assumption and Alleman since 1996? He had 16 points at halftime, three more than the entire Pioneer team. And when Alleman hit 17 on the scoreboard, Daniel countered with his 18th and then 20th points, with Alleman finally having more than the Knight center with 3:30 left in the third quarter.
In that first half, Daniel had eight field goals to Alleman's five. And he took just 11 shots, to Alleman's 24.
"I usually don't give too much credit to an opposing team because I think our team can compete," said Rangel, whose club dropped to 6-10. "But that is the first team that I've seen that I've been really, really impressed with. They are very disciplined, very well-coached, they move the ball well."
Assumption coach Joe Barrer called it a "total team effort," and that was dead-on as Iowa's Class 3A third-ranked Knights moved to 9-3. All but the last three Knights into the game had a rebound. Nine of their 14 in the game scored.
Daniel got the points, but the guards got him the ball. Nick Schebler finished with six assists. His backcourt mate, Matt Vonderhaar hit 4-of-6 3-pointers that went toward 14 points.
"Vonderhaar killed us from the outside," said Rangel.
It didn't help the Pioneers that they couldn't buy a hoop beyond the arc, going 0-for-15.
"We were more aggressive in the second half," said Rangel, "and we got some good looks. They just would not drop."
Alleman was led in scoring by Adam Hoogerwerf with seven points, all in the third quarter.
As for a name for that trophy, Barrer chimed in with "Maybe the 'A Trophy,' or the 'A-Cross Trophy,' since its a cross-river rivalry. We share the commitment to a Catholic education with the cross as part of our school logos."
Rangel likes the idea of leaving it up to the students of both schools, banking on their creativity.
"Regardless of what you name it," the Alleman coach said of the beautiful trophy that went to the Knights after year one of the rivalry, "the resumption of this series is a great thing for the communities and for both schools."