MP girls set record in 48-14 win over OskyMt. Pleasant boys’ basketball team cruises to 67-53 win over Oskaloosa, Panther teams bested by Keokuk in conference games
The Mt. Pleasant girls’ basketball team held Oskaloosa to a record-low score in a 48-14 win on Saturday, bouncing back from a tough Southeast Conference loss at Keokuk on Friday night, 55-49.
The Mt. Pleasant boys also dropped their Friday-night conference game to the Chiefs, 60-56, coming up short after they fell behind early.
On Saturday, however, the Panthers came out fighting, scoring 25 points in the first quarter on their way to a 67-53 win over visiting Oskaloosa.
In the girls’ game on Saturday, the Panthers set a school record for fewest points allowed by an opponent (14).
Mt. Pleasant gave up 15 points in a game against Ft. Madison in both the 1988-89 and 2004-05 seasons.
“We’ve been working on our 2-3 (zone defense), and we changed our defense up a lot,” Mt. Pleasant’s Taryne Shull said after the win over Osky.
The plan worked pretty well for the Panthers.
“We had a lot of steals,” Coach Joanna Settles said. “We tried different presses, and we did a good job capitalizing off our steals.”
The team had 15 thefts on the night, five each by Kelsi Phipps and Shull, as they ran to a 20-8 halftime lead.
The Panthers added another 19 points in the third quarter while holding the Indians to just one basket.
On the day, Shull and Phipps scored a game-high 13 points each. Hannah Becker added eight and Natalie Myers scored seven.
Phipps pulled down seven boards; Shull and Natalie Ita had five rebounds each.
Becker blocked a shot and had three assists and three steals. Ita had two thefts.
“(The win) allows us to take a deep breath,” Settles said. “I’m proud of how the girls bounced back after such a tough conference loss.”
On Friday night, the Panthers took an early lead against Keokuk, going up 13-6 in the first quarter.
The Chiefs made up some ground in the next eight minutes, but Mt. Pleasant held on to the advantage, taking a 25-24 lead into the break.
The Panthers couldn’t slow down their hosts after halftime, however, giving up 18 points and the lead in the third quarter.
Keokuk limited the Panthers to just nine points in the last eight minutes to seal the win.
Shull paced Mt. Pleasant with 17 points on the night. Phipps chipped in 13 points and led the team with 10 rebounds for a double-double.
Shull had nine rebounds and Carolyn Lutovsky grabbed four.
Ita had an assist and three steals, and Mary Wester blocked a shot.
The Panthers are now 9-5 on the season and 4-2 in the conference.
They play again Tuesday when they host Eddyville-Blakesburg.
“Eddyville-Blakesburg has one of the top guards in the state in Tasha Alexander,” Settles said.
Alexander averages 20.9 points per game.
“We will need to play smart and with a lot of speed,” Settles said.
The Mt. Pleasant boys’ team does not have a game on Tuesday — a welcome break for the Panthers, whose busy schedule was starting to wear on them.
“We needed this one — we’ve played five games in nine days, and we’re trying to stay positive,” Coach Paul Rundquist said after Saturday’s win against Oskaloosa. “We brought the intensity from last night’s second half into today’s game.”
The Panthers struggled early in the game against Keokuk on Friday night, but didn’t give up.
They went down 19-10 in the first quarter and were trailing 34-22 at halftime.
They fought back in the second half, posting a 21-point fourth quarter, but ultimately came up short.
“We got down early, but the kids kept chipping away,” Rundquist said. “That’s what we want to see.”
Trey Magnani scored 17 points to lead the Panthers against the Chiefs, and Pat Canby contributed 14 points. Dustin Amos scored nine; Zach Mulford added eight and Brandon Sanchez chipped in seven.
Amos led the rebounding with 12 boards.
Magnani and Canby dished out three assists each. Magnani had six steals.
The Panthers ensured they wouldn’t fall behind Saturday when they scored 25 points in the first eight minutes on their way to a 38-21 halftime lead.
The Panthers have been focusing on the defensive end of the court, and their efforts helped them in Saturday’s victory.
“Definitely, our stops on the defensive end (were key to our win),” Mulford said. “We just wanted to deny more, get more into it on the defensive end — not lay back, but go hard for 32 minutes.”
They worked hard this weekend, but know they’re not where they want to be yet.
“We’re continually trying to rebound better,” Rundquist said. “It’s important at any level, something you need to keep working on.”
The Panthers tacked on 12 points in the final quarter against Oskaloosa, enough to claim a win against the Indians, who posted a 21-point fourth quarter.
“(Oskaloosa) played a good second half,” Rundquist said. “Sometimes, you just have to try to find a way to win.”
That’s what the Panthers did Saturday, and now they begin to focus on how to do the same against a formidable conference foe in Ft. Madison.
The Bloodhounds will be at Mt. Pleasant Friday.
“(The Saturday win) definitely gives us confidence going into the week of practice and Ft. Madison on Friday,” Mulford said.
Mt. Pleasant is now 7-9 overall and 2-4 in the Southeast Conference.
Magnani paced the Panthers in Saturday’s game with 19 points, one of five Mt. Pleasant players in double figures.
Amos and Canby each scored 12 points, while Mulford and Sanchez added 11 apiece.
Canby pulled down six boards and Magnani had five rebounds.
Magnani had six assists; Amos and Canby each blocked a shot. Sanchez, Magnani, Amos and Canby had two thefts each.