Muskies down Panthers
Turnovers plagued the Mt. Pleasant girls’ basketball team in a 63-43 loss to Class 5A Muscatine on Tuesday, Nov. 26.
The Panthers struggled with their press break in their home opener, turning the ball over 29 times in the game.
“Their (Muscatine’s) guard corps is super quick,” Mt. Pleasant Coach Joanna Settles said.
The Panthers have faced Muscatine in their season opener the last two years, and were well aware that breaking the press would be tough once again this year. But there still wasn’t much they could do about it.
The Panthers struggled to get the ball down the court from the start, as Muscatine scored the first seven points of the game on three quick turnovers — the ball didn’t even get past the half-court line.
Once they were able to set up their offense, however, the Panthers were able to sink their shots.
“Our half-court offense did a really nice job; we shot really well,” Settles said.
It was enough to keep them in the game through the first half; in fact, the Panthers were leading 28-27 at the break.
“We came out really well,” Settles said.
Shelby Allender hit a pair of 3-point shots in the first half and Carolyn Lutovsky scored a couple baskets in the post for Mt. Pleasant.
Taryne Shull had five points in each half to lead the Panthers with 10 points on the night; she was the only one in double figures.
Natalie Ita scored eight points, and four different Panthers had six points each: Allender, Lutovsky, Mary Wester and Natalie Myers.
For the Muskies, Katie Shoultz had seven steals and Kaylie Miller had six. Emily Clemens had a game-high 22 points and Annabel Graettinger added 19.
Muscatine put up more than a third of its points in a strong third quarter, in which the Muskies outscored Mt. Pleasant 23-6.
The Panthers’ six points came on layups by Wester, Shull and Hannah Becker.
“We were missing three varsity players that would have been out there tonight — Kelsi Phipps, Jena Stukerjurgen and Bailey Johnson,” Settles said. “That would have been a difference-maker.”
The Panthers are now 1-1 overall. The Muskies pick up their second win of the season; they defeated Cedar Rapids Prairie in their opener on Saturday.
Mt. Pleasant plays again on Monday when it hosts Class 3A No. 7 Williamsburg, and they open the conference season at home on Friday against Fairfield.