No. 9 Panthers falter against No. 7 Raiders
The Class 4A ninth-ranked Mt. Pleasant girls’ basketball team led by as many as 12 points late in the third quarter of last night’s nonconference home game against Class 3A No. 7 Williamsburg, but the Paige Greiner came alive in the last minutes of the contest to help lead the Raiders to a 45-38 come-from-behind victory over the Panthers.
Mt. Pleasant (1-2 overall) limited Greiner, a senior committed to NCAA DI Drake University, to just four points in the first three quarters of play last night.
However, the point guard was able to sink another 14 points — half of them free throws — in the last six minutes of the game to pace the Raiders on their way to the win, and she scored her 1,000th career point in the process.
“She just put her head down and drove to the basket,” Mt. Pleasant Coach Joanna Settles said. “The clock stopped too often and they were scoring, which was the exact opposite of what we wanted — we wanted to take some time off the clock.”
The Panthers held a seven-point lead as the fourth-quarter started, and led by as many as 12 in the third after going on a 12-2 run to start the second half.
Natalie Myers scored on a pair of layups, Becker sank a couple baseline jumpers and Carolyn Lutovsky had a putback for the Panthers to help Mt. Pleasant to a strong start in the third quarter.
The first half of the game was back and forth — the Raiders held a slight edge, 9-8, at the end of the first quarter, and Mt. Pleasant had claimed the lead, 15-13, at the break.
The Panthers struggled again with their press break early in the game, committing four turnovers in their first seven possessions. But as the game went on they picked up the pace, not allowing Williamsburg to set up the press and trap them at half court. They finished with 16 turnovers on the night, just over half of what they had against Muscatine last week.
“We revisited our offense — we wanted to reverse the ball against (their) 2-2-1 (zone press),” Settles said.
But while the Panthers were effectively setting up their offense in the contest, they weren’t getting their shots to fall.
“We just didn’t shoot as well as we typically do,” Settles said. “We were ahead by 12, and then became stagnant.”
The Panthers shot 32 percent (14-for-44) from the field on the night. They were just 1-for-15 (7 percent) from 3-point range.
Williamsburg struggled, too, with shots were bouncing out through much of the game; however, everything was falling for the Raiders in the fourth quarter, and they outscored the Panthers 23-9 in the final minutes for the win.
“We weren’t sharp tonight when we needed to be,” Settles said. “We need to work hard this week on executing on the first try, (and on) transitioning from man-to-man to zone, to different types of zones, on both offense and defense.”
On the night, Taryne Shull paced Mt. Pleasant with nine points. She scored the team’s only 3-point basket and made six of her eight free throws.
Becker added eight points, going 4-for-9 from the field, while Myers and Mary Wester each scored six on 3-for-7 shooting.
Becker dished three assists in the game and had one steal; Shelby Allender also had a steal.
Wester had a team-high eight rebounds and Shull grabbed seven boards. Natalie Ita pulled down six.
The team grabbed 35 rebounds on the night.
“Our rebounding was better, which was nice to see as we start conference this weekend,” Settles said.
The Panthers will host Fairfield in their Southeast Conference opener on Friday, while the Mt. Pleasant boys’ team travels to play the Trojans.
The Panther boys open their season tonight at home against Cedar Rapids Xavier.
MT. PLEASANT (38)
Shelby Allender 1 2-2 4, Taryne Shull 1 6-8 9, Natalie Myers 3 0-0 6, Natalie Ita 1 1-1 3, Mary Wester 3 0-1 6, Hannah Becker 4 0-2 8, Carolyn Lutovsky 1 0-0 2.
3-point goals: Shull
Sadie Ritchie 1 0-0 3, Tina Lane 4 1-2 9, Olivia Bigbee 0 1-2 1, Claire Simmons 5 1-2 11, Paige Greiner 4 8-11 18, Haylee Huedepohl 0 3-6 3.
3-point goals: Greiner (2), Ritchie