Shull leads Panthers over Fairfield
Everything was working for Mt. Pleasant in a 54-33 Southeast Conference girls’ basketball win over Fairfield on Friday night.
“We met every one of our goals tonight,” Mt. Pleasant Coach Joanna Settles said after the game. “We scored over 50, rebounded (well) and made our free throws. We also handled the pressure a lot better tonight.”
Fairfield, however, struggled to keep up on the scoreboard, despite a big night from Sidney Baumann, who scored a team-high 18 points.
The only one on the court who scored more than Baumann was Mt. Pleasant’s Taryne Shull, who had a game-high 19 points.
“Our biggest struggle was definitely stopping Taryne Shull,” Fairfield Coach Mick Flattery said. “We knew coming in that we had to stop her.”
However, their efforts to shut her down fueled her drive to keep going.
“They tried to box-and-one Taryne (Shull), but it only fired her up,” Settles said, while noting that when a team focuses on one Mt. Pleasant player, others will step up.
“We are well-balanced,” she said. “We had eight girls score tonight. We made some nice passes, and there was quite a bit of unselfish play.”
Shull also credits her success against Fairfield to her team’s efforts.
“My teammates really did a good job setting screens and helping me get open,” Shull said.
Shull put up 13 of her 19 points in the first half, opening the scoring with two free throws just four seconds after tipoff.
She went on to make three more free throws, a jumper and two shots from deep before halftime as the Panthers took a 25-18 lead into the third quarter.
They stretched that lead to as many as 13 points with a six-point run after halftime, but Fairfield mounted a comeback to cut that lead to only five points at 35-30 just before the fourth quarter.
The Trojans’ comeback faltered in the last eight minutes of the game, however, as Mt. Pleasant held Fairfield to only four points in the final quarter to secure the win.
“We’ve been working a lot on communication, especially on the press, and I think talking more on the court helped,” Shull said.
Settles also credited the Panther defense.
“Our half-court defense was strong; we threw a lot of different presses at them,” Settles said. “It think it was the most steals we’ve had all year.”
The Panthers finished with 13 thefts, including four from Leslie Taylor.
They did, however, have a hard time guarding Baumann, who finished with more than half the team’s total points.
“Sidney Baumann is a good scorer; she had four (three-pointers) on us,” Settles said. “She did a nice job.”
Fairfield is now 5-6 overall and 1-3 in the SEC; the Trojans host Mid-Prairie tonight (Monday).
Mt. Pleasant is now 6-5 on the season and remained 3-2 in the SEC after a loss to Iowa City Regina on Saturday, 48-31.
“We just didn’t have a lot left for Saturday,” Settles said.
They will be back on the court Tuesday when they host Centerville in a freshman/varsity doubleheader starting at 5:30 p.m.
MT. PLEASANT (54)
Taryne Shull 5 7-8 19, Kelsi Phipps 5 1-2 11, Leslie Taylor 2 0-0 4, Jena Stukerjurgen 0 2-2 2, Natalie Myers 1 2-3 5, Natalie Ita 2 0-0 5, Mary Wester 2 0-0 4, Hannah Becker 1 2-2 4.
3-point goals: Shull 2, Myers, Ita.