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Every young basketball team must learn for themselves what it means to play at the varsity level. Though not always enjoyable, this universal experience transforms eager young sophomore and junior players into the confident and elite athletes they become as seniors. On Thursday, November 29th, many of the Muskie’s players, including their five starters, got their very first taste of varsity play. Though going up against the Iowa City High School Little Hawks proved a steep challenge, Muscatine’s newest varsity basketball players have begun gaining the experience they need to make the Muskies a highly successful team. 
 The first quarter began with the Muskies and the Little Hawks fairly evenly matched with a score of 3-2 Little Hawks. However, after Iowa City High’s Carter Westlake made his second three point shot the Little Hawks gained the upper hand. By the end of the quarter, the Little Hawks had moved the score to 21-4, giving them seventeen unanswered points. 
 In the second quarter, Iowa City High gained its largest lead over the Muskies, bringing the score to 38-5. The Muskies fought back though, and by the end of the quarter, they almost doubled their score, bringing the standings at half time to 38-9.
 In the third quarter, the Muskies struggled to shoot the ball, earning only one more point. However, the Little Hawks had no such trouble. They scored another six points, triggering a continuous clock. At the end of the third quarter, the score still stood at 44-10.
 The Little Hawks continued to pour on the scoring over the course of the final quarter of the game. They made an impressive fourteen points in the fourth quarter. The Muskies tried their hardest to answer Iowa City High’s challenge and did add another five points to their score. However, this late game energy could not quite propel them to a win. In the end, the Little Hawks beat the Muskies 58-15 and outscored them 14-5 in the final quarter of the game. 
 Though the Muskies now stand at 0-3 for the season and suffered a tough loss for their first game, this young team still has a lot of potential to shine as the season progresses. Amidst all the difficulties of their first game, several players stood out as athletes to watch this season. Senior Nathan Diercks earned the designation of CBI Bank and Trust Offensive Player of the Game for shooting five points worth of baskets, leading his team for the night. Senior Gabriel Mulder earned Buffalo Wild Wings Defensive Player of the Game for the energy he brought to the court, and his relentless efforts to block the Little Hawks. 
 This basketball season the Voice of Muscatine will provide complete coverage for a wide selection of prime boys and girls basketball games. Listen to the games live on KWPC AM 850, FM 95.1 or online at www.voiceofmuscatine.com. View entire games as soon as they end online at www.voiceofmuscatine.com 

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