Panther boys drop West Burlington on the road
BY ANDY KRUTSINGER
Mt. Pleasant News
WEST BURLINGTON — Business picked up in a big way on Thursday night for a couple of fast-paced boys’ basketball teams.
Mt. Pleasant faced SEISC South Division power West Burlington in a non-conference showdown that saw its share of fast break points and loose balls, and in the end it was the Panthers who came out on top, with an 80-62 victory.
The Panther offense thrived as both teams came out in a full court press in the first half, starting the up-and-down game early.
Mt. Pleasant outscored the Falcons 18-11 in the first quarter and 20-11 in the second to take a 38-22 lead into halftime. West Burlington, however, didn’t let the Panthers out of town without a fight.
The Falcon press picked up in the third quarter and West Burlington was able to cut the lead down to as little as six points midway through the period.
Mt. Pleasant was able to capitalize on a few Falcon errors towards the end of the third period, however, and the Panthers still led, 58-45 after three quarters.
The pressure stayed on from both sides in the fourth quarter. The Panthers were able to regain their momentum and hold on to their double-digit lead, eventually winning by 18 points.
After the game, Mt. Pleasant head coach Paul Rundquist talked about West Burlington’s ability to stick with the Panthers in the second half, something the three previous Mt. Pleasant opponents had struggled to do.
“They’re a very athletic team,” Rundquist said. “They drive hard and I’ve always said that teams that drive are difficult to defend. West Burlington played with a ton of energy tonight. Credit them for a good ballgame.”
Mt. Pleasant was led in scoring by Brady Sartorius who hit two of Mt. Pleasant’s six three-pointers on the night and ended the game with 26 points.
Jordan Magnani scored 15 points in the win. Tom O’Connor and Colin Mulford each had 12. Jonathan Ita scored nine points off the bench, and Kieran Kohorst finished with six to round out the Panther scorers.
The win gave Mt. Pleasant their third victory in a row and their second in the non-conference. They’ll have a short rest before a game today (Fri.) against Harlan at Wells Fargo Arena.
The Panthers will come in at 4-1 overall and the Cyclones 3-3. Harlan has lost its last three games, two of which were to Class 4A opponents.
Tonight’s game is scheduled for a 4:30 p.m. start, 30 minutes earlier than its original schedule. The Iowa Energy will be playing after the high school game.
The early start time gives the Panthers less than 24 hours in between games, something that will test the stamina of Mt. Pleasant.
“I was a little worried about what our legs will be like tomorrow,” Rundquist says. “But we’ll find out.”