Washington falls to Mt. PleasantStruggles with offense and shot selection
The Mt. Pleasant boys’ basketball team sank its shots and played a strong game under the basket to claim a 60-48 Southeast Conference win over Washington on Friday night.
The Panthers (5-5, 2-2 SEC) shot nearly 50 percent from the field and nearly 40 percent from 3-point range, and they out-rebounded their rivals, 34-28. Washington fell to 2-5 overall and 1-1 in the SEC with the loss.
“We struggled to run our offense,” Washington Coach Bryce Smeins said. “We were not getting good looks in the first half.”
The Mt. Pleasant defense kept the pressure on, crashing the boards and turning five steals into 10 points on fast-break layups.
“They transitioned and scored a few times,” Smeins said. “We had to hurry, and we settled for bad shots.”
Mt. Pleasant got on the board first with a 3-pointer by Trey Magnani less than 30 seconds in. It was the first of seven baskets from deep for the Panthers and the first of three for Magnani, who finished with a game-high 17 points.
He was 5-for-10 from the field on the night, including 3-for-5 from 3-point range. He also made all four of his free throws.
Magnani was one of four Panthers in double figures.
Zach Mulford scored 14 for Mt. Pleasant and Pat Canby had 13 points, a season high for the freshman.
“He [Canby] is one of our best defenders, but we’ve been working with him to be more aggressive [on offense],” Mt. Pleasant Coach Paul Rundquist said.
Dustin Amos scored 10 points for Mt. Pleasant and Brandon Sanchez chipped in six.
Sanchez’s points came on back-to-back 3-pointers that put Mt. Pleasant back on top, 19-14, after Washington took its only lead of the game (14-13) early in the second quarter.
Amos followed with two more points for the Panthers on a layup in transition for an eight-point run that gave Mt. Pleasant a 21-14 lead.
The host team had a 13-10 lead after the first eight minutes of play; six of Washington’s points came on a pair of 3-pointers by Mason Quigley.
Quigley and Gage Redlinger would go on to lead the Demons with 14 points apiece in the conference contest. Quigley was 5-for-16 from the field and sank a team-high three 3-pointers in 11 attempts; Redlinger went 6-for-11 and was 2-for-3 from deep.
Daryn Sebelius was also in double figures for the Demons, scoring 10 points on the night.
It was Brett Wright who gave Washington its only lead of the game on a floater in the second quarter.
The eight-point run by Mt. Pleasant was answered by seven straight points for Washington, which tied the score at 21, but the Demons couldn’t quite get past the Panthers.
Mt. Pleasant ended the half with a nine-point run and went into the break up 30-21.
The Panthers continued to stretch their lead through the second half, and the Demons would never get closer than six points the rest of the way.
As a team, the Panthers shot 46.6 percent from the field on the night and were 38.8 percent from deep. They made 78.5 percent of their free throws.
Washington sank 33.3 percent of their shots on the night, including 30.4 percent of their 3-point attempts. They didn’t get many changes at the line, going 3-for-4 on free throws.
On the boards, Washington was led by Redlinger and Sebelius with seven rebounds each.
Mulford had a game-high 10 boards to finish with the double-double. Canby pulled down eight rebounds and Amos finished with seven. Ben Canby grabbed six boards.
“We’re sort of undersized, so we continue to focus on rebounding,” Rundquist said, and the Panthers saw that focus pay off on Friday.
“We rebounded the best we have all year,” Magnani said.
The Mt. Pleasant defense held strong against the Demons.
“They get out and run, but we held them to 48 points, which is good for us,” Magnani said.
“When you keep a team under 50 points, you’re in a good situation to win the ballgame,” Rundquist added. “Those are our goals: keep teams under 50 and win the rebounding battle.”
The Panthers will host Fairfield on Friday, while Washington is at home Tuesday, Jan 14, against Mid-Prairie.
MT. PLEASANT (60)
Brandon Sanchez 2 0-0 6, Trey Magnani 5 4-4 17, Dustin Amos 5 0-0 10, Zach Mulford 4 4-4 14, Pat Canby 5 3-4 13.
3-point goals: Magnani (3), Sanchez (2), Mulford (2)
Mason Quigley 5 1-2 14, Gage Redlinger 6 0-0 14, Daryn Sebelius 3 2-2 10, Walker Breard 1 0-0 2, Elijah Wood 2 0-0 4, Brett Wright 2 0-0 4.
3-point goals: Quigley (3), Redlinger (2), Sebelius (2)