Panthers claw Demons
The Washington High School and Mt. Pleasant High School boys’ varsity basketball teams met in Washington for a Southeast Iowa Conference game on Friday, Feb. 14 with both teams looking to build some momentum entering the last week of regular season play. After the final buzzer sounded it was the Panthers who had claimed a 73 – 66 victory.
“I thought both teams played well tonight, 139 combined points is a lot for a high school basketball game,” Mt. Pleasant head coach Paul Rundquist said.
A tight first quarter that featured two ties and three lead changes ended in a 16 – 14 Mt. Pleasant lead. The Panthers went on a 15 – 7 run to start out the second quarter and go up by 10 with 3:47 left in the second quarter.
“We missed some layups and if you do a study on missed layups, most often a missed layup turns into a layup on the other end. If you have too many of those you can get into a hole pretty quickly,” Washington head coach Bryce Smeins said.
Until halftime the two teams would trade baskets to get to the midway tally of 36 – 27, Mt. Pleasant in the lead.
The third quarter featured more basketball like the last three minutes of the second quarter, with both teams not having much trouble scoring but at the same time being ineffective on the defensive end. Going into the fourth quarter the score was 51 – 39, Panthers’ advantage.
The Demons started out the fourth quarter with an 11 – 3 run to cut the Mt. Pleasant lead down to just four points.
“We had some pretty good stretches again. It’s sounding like a broken record but once again we didn’t match their athleticism and intensity for 32 minutes,” Smeins added.
“There are a lot of momentum shifts in a game. You try to feel those shifts and do what you can to get that momentum in your favor. Against any defense you want to get the ball into the paint and be aggressive off the dribble,” Rundquist commented.
At that point the Panthers took the momentum back in their favor by scoring 19 points in the final four minutes of the game to seal the victory.
The Demons are 6 – 12 overall and 1 – 7 in conference games. Washington is scheduled to play next at Williamsburg on Tuesday, Feb. 18.