By Andy Krutsinger,
Mt. Pleasant News
PELLA ? The Mt. Pleasant eighth-grade basketball team is doing big things around the state. The Panthers finished second in their regional tournament in Pella on Saturday, which qualified them for the state tournament in early April. Mt. Pleasant was second to Newton, who won the regional.
The Panthers have had a great tournament schedule this year after a strong regular season. They?ve won a medal in every tournament they have played in and were coming off two-straight tournaments of winning every game by 40 points or more.
The Panther tournament team will play in the state tournament on Saturday, April 7, in Des Moines. The winner of the state tournament will represent Iowa in a six-state Midwest Regional match in Minneapolis, Minn., against teams from North Dakota, Minnesota, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Nebraska and Iowa.
Five years ago, Mt. Pleasant won this championship in Minneapolis. Those seniors were the core of two-straight state tournament berths in 2016-17 and 2017-18.
Players for the eighth-grade tournament team are Sam Jerrel, Isaac Jerrel, Dewan Trent, Dillan Hagans, Reece Kempker, Colton Hutson, Dalton Church and Tyler Jalas. Josh Mueller has also participated for the team in 2017. The coaches for the eighth-grade tournament squad are Terry Jerrel and Jermone Trent.