Mt. Pleasant girls blow out Burlington, boys fall
The Mt. Pleasant girls’ basketball team cruised to a 60-13 victory over winless Burlington on Saturday, breaking the school record they set last week for fewest points allowed in a game.
The Panthers limited Oskaloosa to 14 points just a week before Saturday’s win.
In the boys’ game, Burlington defeated Mt. Pleasant, 58-46, in a 3-point shootout.
The Mt. Pleasant girls scored 26 points in the second quarter on their way to a 47-5 halftime lead. The game had a running clock in the last two quarters.
The Panthers’ transition offense was a big part of the weekend win.
“We were surprised,” Mt. Pleasant Coach Joanna Settles said. “We were ready to run our offense; we practiced our offense all week.”
But at game time, the Panthers were grabbing rebounds and running the court, scoring many of their points in transition or on putbacks.
“We ran the floor well — we got a lot of rebounds and didn’t let them get off a lot of shots,” Mt. Pleasant’s Jena Stukerjurgen said.
The whole game was a team effort.
“All five girls on the court, at any given time, were running the court well,” Settles said. “Staying balanced makes us more difficult to defend.”
The Panthers spread out the scoring and rebounding in the game.
Hannah Becker had team-high 13 points and Taryne Shull added 12. Kelsi Phipps and Natalie Ita chipped in eight points each, while Mary Wester posted seven.
Shull led Mt. Pleasant with 12 rebounds and Phipps grabbed seven boards. Ten other Panthers had at least one rebound, and the team grabbed 49 on the night, 18 of them offensive.
Phipps had four steals and Becker added three thefts. Shull dished out seven assists and blocked a shot.
The Panthers did suffer a loss during the contest, as Natalie Myers left the game with a knee injury.
“She’ll be out for a little while,” Settles said. “But I think we’ll see her back (this season).”
She won’t be on the floor this week, for any of Mt. Pleasant’s three games — which is where the Panthers’ depth comes into play.
“It’s nice not to miss a beat with a senior starter out of the lineup,” Settles said.
The Panthers improved to 11-5 on the season with Saturday’s win, and they remain 4-2 in the Southeast Conference.
Mt. Pleasant looks to up that conference record in tonight’s road trip to Ft. Madison.
The Panthers will then be at Iowa City West on Tuesday, and make a trip to Centerville on Thursday.
“It’s always nice to start the week (coming off) a win,” Stukerjurgen said.
In the boys’ game Saturday against the Grayhounds, the Panthers made eight shots from 3-point range.
Burlington sank nine.
“They shot well,” Mt. Pleasant Coach Paul Rundquist said. “And they got timely rebounds. I thought we did a good job with half-court defense, but after the shot was taken, they were able to get the rebound.”
The Panthers’ early 3-pointers were bouncing out, and Burlington was able to drive into the lane for its first eight points. But at the end of the first quarter, Burlington’s Cam Chrisman sank the first shot of the game from deep — the first of many.
Chrisman made two more in the second quarter, and teammate Jerad Porter had one. Zach Mulford had one of his own for Mt. Pleasant’s first of the game with less than three minutes left to play in the first half.
The third quarter saw a basket inside from Burlington’s Raykwon Stevenson, and then seven straight shots from beyond the arc. Burlington had four; for Mt. Pleasant, Brandon Sanchez, Pat Canby and Trey Magnani each had one.
The third quarter gave Burlington a 12-point advantage, and the Panthers couldn’t cut that lead to less than seven in the final eight minutes.
Magnani had a team-high 18 points and Mulford chipped in nine. Sanchez scored eight and Canby scored seven.
Canby led Mt. Pleasant on the boards with 12 rebounds and Mulford added seven.
As a team, the Panthers had 33 rebounds, which was a ways above their average of 24.9 per game — but not enough to help them to a win.
The Panthers are now 7-10 on the season and remain 2-4 in the SEC.
Mt. Pleasant hosts Ft. Madison tonight (Monday) in a makeup game from Friday.
“It’s difficult to shift game plans after 3 1/2 days preparing for Ft. Madison to (preparing for) Burlington in one day,” Rundquist said, referring to last week’s practices. “But I’m sure Burlington was in the same situation, and they played better in the end.”