Mt Pleasant News
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Wash Journal   Fairfield Ledger
Neighbors Growing Together | Dec 12, 2017

Fourth-quarter rally falls short for MP

Nov 29, 2017
Photo by: Andy Krutsinger Kieran Kohorst jumps on a loose ball and flips it to Maison Ashton during Mt. Pleasant's 68-62 loss to Xavier on Tuesday night.

By Andy Krutsinger,

Mt. Pleasant News

 

It wasn’t easy for the two-time defending champions on Tuesday night. Mt. Pleasant gave Cedar Rapids Xavier all they could handle in the fourth quarter, but just couldn’t get over the hump in a 68-62 loss.

The two teams traded blows early on. The Saints jumped out to an early lead but Mt. Pleasant cut it to two points by the end of the quarter. Xavier led 11-9 after one period thanks to five points from Jackson Joens.

The pace of play was frantic in the second quarter. The Panthers used high-pressure defense to make the Saints uncomfortable, but Xavier was able to hit a couple of outside shots to extend the lead.

Panther point guard Brady Sartorius got rolling in the second quarter with seven points, and led all scorers with 11 at halftime, but the Panthers were down 30-24 at the break.

The floor started to tip Xavier’s way in the third quarter. Joens and Quinn Schulte each had six points in the period and the Panthers continued to struggle to make baskets.

Sartorius scored nine points in the third quarter, but the rest of the squad struggled to find their offensive groove. Mt. Pleasant was active on the offensive boards and were able to get good looks, but not much was falling through the first three quarters, and Xavier held a 48-37 lead going into the fourth.

Mt. Pleasant refused to go down easily. The Panthers scrapped back into the game, thanks in part to two big blocked shots from Jonathan Ita, and a handful of Panther hustle plays.

Sartorius continued to score almost at will, but Mt. Pleasant needed someone else to get hot. The Panthers looked to Jordan Magnani, who heated up for 10 fourth-quarter points.

The Panthers went on a 15-4 run in the fourth quarter, capped off by a couple of big three-pointers from Sartorius, and all of the sudden the game was within one posession at 54-52.

Mt. Pleasant High School was rocking and momentum had shifted towards Mt. Pleasant, but once again the Saints got a big boost from Joens and Schulte.

With the Panthers charging and three minutes remaining, Joens found himself with space in the corner. As he did all day, Joens calmly sank the three to stretch the Xavier lead to five points. A loose ball on the inbound pass wound up in the hands of Schulte, who layed it up to make it 59-52, thwarting the Mt. Pleasant momentum.

The Panthers were able to extend the game with inside points towards the end of the quarter, but couldn’t get the turnovers they needed to come back.

After the game, Mt. Pleasant coach Paul Rundquist said the team missed too many easy shots to pull off the win.

“The old adage, missed free throws (and) missed layups will come back to haunt you, and I really feel like they kind of did tonight,” Rundquist said. “We had opportunities and missed out on those opportunities with loose balls. It just felt like every time we made a run, they had an answer.”

Sartorius led all scorers with 30 points on 11-17 from the field, 4-5 from down town and 4-5 from the free throw line. Magnani ended the game with 15 points to give the Panthers two double-digit scorers.

Ita ended the game with six points, two blocks and four rebounds. Kieran Kohorst had six points, a team-leading six rebounds and three assists. Colin Mulford had three points and three assists, and Maison Ashton finished with two points.

Mt. Pleasant will now look to their conference opener against Fairfield on Friday, Dec. 1. That game will begin at 7:30 p.m., with the girls’ game preceding it at 6:15 p.m.

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