Sports

Slow start dooms Panther girls

Mt. Pleasant comes up short in West Burlington

GTNS photo by Andy Krutsinger

Karsyn Lamm dribbles past a West Burlington defender during the Panthers’ non-conference loss on Friday night.
GTNS photo by Andy Krutsinger Karsyn Lamm dribbles past a West Burlington defender during the Panthers’ non-conference loss on Friday night.
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WEST BURLINGTON — The Mt. Pleasant girls had to chase points after a slow start to their road game against West Burlington on Tuesday night, and despite a big run in the fourth quarter, the Panthers could never get back even with the Falcons, who handed them a 53-38 loss.

The Panthers were pressed early and often by a speedy Falcon team, and that led to a boat load of West Burlington points early. After one quarter, Mt. Pleasant found itsself down double digits, trailing 17-6 after eight minutes.

The Panthers found their offense in the second quarter and got the lead down to single digits, but West Burlington closed the half strong. Isabel Ashton scored six points in the second quarter and eight total in the first half, but the Falcons still led 31-19 at halftime.

The third quarter was a bit of an offensive struggle for both sides, but Mt. Pleasant was able to cut into the lead. Elli Liechty had five points in the quarter, and Maddie Williamson had four, as the Panthers made it a 10 points ballgame, at 38-28.

The Panthers used a handful of hustle points in the fourth quarter to cut the lead all the way down to five points, but West Burlingotn pulled away with a few fastbreak layups and the Panthers would never get any closer than five.

“We just couldn’t get over the hump,” said Mt. Pleasant head coach Curt Watson after the loss. “We cut it down to five in the fourth quarter and then we kind of went cold, and we gave up some easy buckets. The fight for the girls was still there, it just wasn’t our night.”

Williamson scored seven points in the fourth quarter and finished with 15 overall. Ashton went out of the game with a lower body injury in the second half and finished the night with eight points. Liechty ended the day with seven.

Sydni Coleman had four points in the loss. Sadie Carrasco and Lydia Stewart each ended the night with two.

The Panthers fell to 0-5 on the season, all losses against quality teams. They’ll face another one of those on Friday, Dec. 7, when Keokuk comes into Mt. Pleasant for a Southeast Conference game. The Chiefs will likely bring their aggressive full court press that has turned the Chiefs into a perrenial SEC contender.

“We still want to stay in the conference race,” Watson said about the upcoming matchup. “We can’t drop two games down. Like we told them in the locker room, we have to take care of the ball.”