Suffocating defense leads to dominant win for MP girls
BY ANDY KRUTSINGER
Mt. Pleasant News
WEST BURLINGTON — The Mt. Pleasant girls’ basketball team played shut down defense all day and hit eight three-pointers in a 60-23 win over West Burlington on the road Thursday night.
The Panthers reached double-digits in all four quarters and held the Falcons to five points or less in the first three periods to breeze through with their second straight dominant win.
The Panthers started to suffocate the Falcon offense early with a full court press that forced West Burlington into a handful of first quarter mistakes.
After one period, Mt. Pleasant already had a commanding, 25-4 lead.
West Burlington’s offense continued to struggle to score in the second quarter and Mt. Pleasant was able to push the lead to 37-8 at halftime.
The Falcons were more competitive in the second half, but Mt. Pleasant was still able to outscore West Burlington, 12-5 in the third quarter and 11-10 in the fourth to walk out with a 37-point win.
After the game, Mt. Pleasant coach Nicholas Maynard said the early press was a key to getting out to a big lead.
“That was the game plan going into things,” Maynard said. “Go into our press and force a few turnovers.”
The Panthers also had one of their sharpest games offensively of the year, hitting a season high eight three-pointers. Rylee Amos, Maddie Williamson, Kalynn Batey and Kirsten Smith all knocked down a couple of threes in the win.
“Pleased and relieved is the best way to describe it,” Maynard said about the team’s outside shooting. “There was a comment made by one of them after the game that they are finally going down.”
Maynard said the outside shot has been something the team has wanted to get better on all season. Their previous high for three-pointers in a game was six, in their home game against Pella.
“There was definitely some pressure from some of the girls, mostly on themselves,” Maynard said. “We weren’t shooting really well. We have a team goal board, and that one, for the past few games, has been an unfulfilled goal. So to get that taken care of tonight is definitely good for the girls.”
The night also saw another great game from Sarah Moffett down low. The senior post led the team with 17 points and 12 rebounds, pulling down six offensive and six defensive boards on the night.
Moffett goes into winter break on a streak of three-straight games with double-digit points and rebounds.
Williamson had 13 points in the win. Batey finished with 10 points, seven rebounds and a team-leading six assists. Amos and Smith scored six points apiece. Bailey Johnson had five.
Brianna Shelman had two points and three steals, and Abbie Liechty had one point. Sadie Carrasco didn’t score in the game, but led the team with two blocks. Taylor Murray had one steal and one assist in the win.
Mt. Pleasant will head into the break at 3-4 overall.
The Panthers will start their second semester schedule on the road at Solon on Monday, Jan. 2, at 7:30 p.m.