Mt Pleasant News

Wash Journal   Fairfield Ledger
Neighbors Growing Together | Mar 20, 2018

Panther girls go cold in fourth

Solon storms back to stun Mt. Pleasant in non-conference game
Jan 05, 2018
Photo by: Andy Krutsinger Lydia Stewart puts up a layup in the first half.

By Andy Krutsinger, Mt. Pleasant News


If there is one word to describe the fourth quarter for the Panther girls on Thursday night, it’s “cold.” Mt. Pleasant was shut out in the final period and scored just six first half points as Solon climbed back to steal a 45-39 win.

The Panthers looked good early on. Mt. Pleasant was able to hold the Solon offense quiet in the first handful of minutes with a half court press and Kalynn Batey scored eight points in the first period to give the Panthers the early lead. Solon did claw back in the final two minutes of the period, but MPCHS still held a 13-11 lead after one quarter.

The second quarter was extremely sharp for the MP girls. The Panther offense worked for open shots and put up 20 points, with six players getting on the scoreboard. Batey and Maddie Williamson each put up six points to lead the team and Mt. Pleasant held a relatively comfortable 33-19 lead at the break.

Things started to go awry for the Panthers in the third period. Mt. Pleasant was ice cold from behind the three-point line and could only muster six points, two each by Batey, Williamson and Isabel Ashton.

All of the sudden, it was a tight game. Solon scored 14 points in the third period and the scoreboard read 39-33 in favor of the Panthers with one quarter to go.

Mt. Pleasant could not buy a bucket in the fourth quarter. Solon’s defense forced the Panthers to take shots from the outside and nothing was falling. The Spartans were able to collect a handful of fast break points and tied the game at 39-39 with six minutes remaining.

Only two more baskets were made from that point forward. Solon took the lead on a midrange jumper with four minutes left and stretched the lead to four points, at 43-39, with three minutes showing.

The final three minutes were filled with missed shots for Mt. Pleasant. Solon hit a couple more free throws in the last 20 seconds and escaped with a six-point road win, snapping the Panthers’ two-game winning streak.

“We just didn’t play very well,” said headcoach Curt Watson after the game. “We rushed our shots (and) we gave up way too many baskets on the defensive end.”

Coach Watson said the team just pressed a little too much once Solon tied the contest, and said he told his team to put this game in the rearview mirror with an important Southeast Conference road game coming up tonight (Friday).

“I just told the girls ‘I’ll take the blame for this one.’” Watson said. “‘When we leave the locker room tonight, the game is over with.’ I’ll give hats off to Solon. They just wanted it better the second half.”

Batey finished the game with 16 points to lead the Panthers. Williamson had eight and Ashton finished with seven. Karsyn Lamm, Taylor Murray, Sadie Carrasco and Lydia Stewart each scored two points in the loss.

The Panthers now turn their attention to tonight’s road game at Washington. Mt. Pleasant is just one game behind Fairfield in the SEC and can stay right in the thick of the conference race with a win. The varsity girls will tip off at 7:30 p.m., with freshman and junior varsity games preceding the varsity contest.

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