Mt Pleasant News

Wash Journal   Fairfield Ledger
Neighbors Growing Together | Aug 21, 2018

Panther boys boil Bloodhounds

No. 3 Mt. Pleasant clinches third-straight SEC crown
Jan 29, 2018
Photo by: Andy Krutsinger Jordan Magnani takes a three-pointer in front of the Panther student section.

By Andy Krutsinger, Mt. Pleasant News


No. 3 Mt. Pleasant didn’t let the Ft. Madison offense breathe on Friday night. The Panthers were in the Bloodhounds’ faces all night, holding their Southeast Conference rival to just six-first half points en route to a dominating 61-29 win and a third-straight Southeast Conference title.

Neither team could get into an offensive rhythm in the first quarter. The Panthers and Bloodhounds played a scrappy eight minutes, filled with missed shots. Mt. Pleasant was able to grind out a 7-4 lead before the first horn sounded to end the opening period.

The Panther backcourt got things going offensively in the second quarter. Jordan Magnani exploded for 11 points in the second quarter and Brady Sartorius scored eight. Ft. Madison managed just two points as a team and the Panthers went up 30-6 before halftime.

Mt. Pleasant was able to stretch the lead by six points in the third quarter, leading 47-17 entering the fourth. The Panthers were able to rest their starters late in the fourth quarter but still added to their lead, taking the final period 14-12 to ensure the 32-point victory.

Coach Paul Rundquist, who was honored before the game with a plaque to celebrate his 300th career win, said defensive preperation helped the Panthers succeed even when the shots weren’t going in.

“It’s hard work just in prep to play hard defense,” Rundquist said. “Our shots weren’t falling in the first quarter (but) we only gave up four points. We had a lead and only gave up two points in the second quarter, and if we can guard like that, the shots are eventually going to fall, which they did. I thought the kids played really mature tonight.”

The Bloodhound big three of Treavor Kokjohn, Kaleb Cresswell and Logan Rashid, who combine for just under 30 points per game, were held to just 19 points on 7-27 shooting by the Panther defense.

Sartorius led the Mt. Pleasant offense with 20 points, and also finished the game with a team-leading three steals. Magnani finished with 14 points, all in the first half, and a team-leading seven rebounds. Kieran Kohorst gave the Panthers a third double-digit scorer with 11 points.

Rhett Zeglen and Jonathan Ita scored four points apiece in the win. Tucker Johnson, Keegan Kohorst, Colin Mulford and Maison Ashton all had two points.

The Panthers moved to 14-3 overall with the win and 7-0 in conference play, which clinched the conference title for the third year in a row.

Mt. Pleasant also got its substate grouping. In order to make it back to state, the Panthers will have to outlast Keoukuk, Fairfield, Ft. Madison, Washington, Iowa City Liberty, West Liberty and Solon. The postseason will begin in mid-February.

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