Behind stingy defense and sound all-around play, both Van Meter girls and boys basketball teams picked up victories to begin the 2020 year Tuesday, Jan. 7.

The Bulldogs were in another double-header action, this time against conference foe West Central Valley where the girls won 47-28 while the boys were also victorious by a 57-10 margin. For the Bulldog girls, a quick 9-2 lead following the first-quarter really set the tone as the team held visiting West Central Valley to three single-digit scoring quarters. Meanwhile, the Bulldog girls posted three double-digit scoring quarters including the 14 point performance to round out the first half of play and send the team into the halftime break with a 23-10 lead. Even more damage was dished out in the second half as the Bulldogs outpaced the Wildcats 24-18. A large part of the overall success for Van Meter came from three-point range where they went 7-of-17 and led by sharpshooter Clair Lauterbach. The senior ended the night as the team’s leading scorer with 14 points, the majority of which came from the three-point line. Lauterbach also led the team in field goals made on the night. Right behind Lauterbach in the scoring efforts was Chaney Coppinger and Jorja Hanselman, both with seven points each on the night. The Bulldog girls put forth a lot of positive performances but perhaps none better than the transition game which coach Olson spoke about.

“We got a lot of help from our transition game which helped us out a lot,” said Olson. “We preach about good transition offense especially when teams try and keep Natalie (Barth) out of the middle of the floor.”

The win gives the Bulldogs a 5-3 record overall and a 4-1 record inside conference play.

On the boys side of things, the defense held West Central Valley to no more than six points in any given quarter which included shutting out the Wildcats across the fourth quarter of play. It was a fast-paced, quick-hitting game from the start as Van Meter jumped out to a 19-0 lead early and a 21-3 lead at the end of the first quarter. Than then transitioned nicely into a commanding 34-4 lead at the halftime break. After a few lineup changes, the Bulldogs still produced a strong attack in the second half, outscoring West Central Valley by a 23-6 margin. Pacing the Bulldog offensive attack on the night was Anthony Potthoff who connected on 5-of-9 shooting from the floor and a pair of free throws for 12 total points on the night. The senior also added four rebounds, one assist, and one steal to the winning cause. He was followed up by the trio of Blade Koons, Chris Schreck, and Clark Fiala who pitched in seven points each to the winning cause. A point of note within the game was that senior Ian Abrahamson returned to the competitive hardwood. In his return, he pitched in three points complete with three rebounds one assist, and one steal. It was a sight everyone in the stands was glad to see.

“Ian looked pretty good tonight and pretty much back to normal form,” said head coach Jed Alexander. “He was very strong with the ball and made some good passes that we’re used to seeing from him. It’s been a year since he’s been in our lineup healthy so it was good to get him back and can’t wait to see what he can do against Des Moines Christian.”

Overall, Van Meter shot 50 percent from the floor with four made three-point buckets and shot 63 percent from the three throw line. Next up for both squads will be a calendar circling match-up with Des Moines Christen on the road Thursday, Jan. 9. It will be a battle of the conference’s top two teams on the boys side while the Bulldog girls will seek to inch closer to the top.