Aggressive MP girls’ team trounces Redettes
The Mt. Pleasant girls’ basketball team stepped on the court with confidence, played aggressive defense, and came up with a 58-21 win over Centerville on Tuesday night.
“Aggressive defense was key to the game,” Mt. Pleasant Coach Joanna Settles said. “We knew they shot a lot of 3-pointers. They’ve hit 13 in a game before, and we didn’t want to see that tonight.”
Instead, the Panthers (7-5 overall, 3-2 SEC) limited their opponents to only three baskets from behind the arc — and only five from inside it. The Redettes were two-for-two from the free throw line.
Meanwhile, Mt. Pleasant made four 3-point baskets and they put in 17 shots from inside. They were 12-for-16 from the free throw line.
Three Panthers scored in double figures: Taryne Shull, Kelsi Phipps and Leslie Taylor each scored 10 points. Jena Stukerjurgen added eight and Natalie Myers chipped in seven. On the night, 14 different players got in the game, and 10 of them scored.
“We rotated in and out a lot of girls, and kept fresh legs on the court,” Stukerjurgen said.
Those who weren’t scoring were helping their teammates do so.
“There were a lot of assists tonight,” Settles said. “That’s my favorite part. We also had more than 15 steals.”
The Panthers jumped out to an early lead in the game and never looked back, and their defense helped their offense all the way to a 51-16 lead at the end of the third quarter, forcing a continuous clock.
“I think that tonight, we took the court with the mentality that we were going to win,” Settles said. “We need to keep stepping on the court with that mentality.”
Up next for the Panthers is a rematch against Southeast Conference rival Keokuk, who dealt the Panthers a heartbreaking, 47-44 loss earlier this season.
Settles expects to see another close game on Friday.
“The girls are excited to play them again,” Settles said. “I thought we did a lot of things right against a good Keokuk team last time.”
What hurt the Panthers the most in their last outing against the Chiefs was missing an uncharacteristic number of free throws — the Panthers were just eight-for-24 from the stripe.
In most other areas, however, the teams are even.
“We match up well with them — Phipps and (Rachel) Dunlap should be a good matchup on post,” Settles said, “and their 3-point shooter (Lakyn) Boltz, hits about 40 percent, so we’ll have to stop her.”
Boltz is 29-for-63 (46 percent) from behind the arc so far this season, and the Panthers will look to shut her down like they shut down Centerville’s outside shooting.
The freshman game starts at 4:45 p.m. in Keokuk, followed by JV and varsity.
“We’re going to keep working on defense,” Stukerjurgen said, “and try to carry over our aggressiveness to Friday night.”
MT. PLEASANT (58)
Shelby Allender 1 0-0 3, Taryne Shull 3 2-2 10, Kelsi Phipps 4 2-2 10, Leslie Taylor 3 4-5 10, Jena Stukerjurgen 4 0-0 8, Natalie Myers 3 0-0 7, Natalie Ita 0 2-2 2, Mary Wester 2 0-0 4, Hannah Becker 0 1-2 1, Megan Shumacher 1 1-3 3
3-point goals: Shull 2, Allender, Myers