By Andy Krutsinger, Mt. Pleasant News
The Mt. Pleasant girls have now won four in a row, and they may be getting hot at the right time as the season winds down towards the final week of regular season play.
Mt. Pleasant scored a win over Benton, coming back in the second quarter to erase a double-digit deficit, and holding on in the second half for a 45-39 victory.
Benton came out hot, scoring their highest point total of the night in the first quarter. The Panthers were outscored 18-8 in the first eight minutes.
The Panther defense completely shut Benton down in the second quarter, however. Mt. Pleasant blanked Benton 17-0 in the second quarter and Mt. Pleasant led 25-18 at the half.
Benton was able to cut the lead by one point after the third quarter. Mt. Pleasant held a 33-27 going into the final quarter. The two teams split the fourth period 12-12, allowing The Panthers to hold on for the six-point victory.
Maddie Williamson and Kalynn Batey once again provided the one-two punch to lead the Panthers. Williamson had 16 points in the win, and Batey tallied another double-double, leading the team with 15 points, 11 rebounds and three assists.
Taylor Murray scored four points in the win, dished out three assists of her own and led the team with three steals. Sadie Carrasco and Isabel Ashton scored four points apiece and Lydia Stewart finished with two.
The junior varsity team fell 45-29 in the preceding game. Serenity Keomanivong had 11 points. Karsyn Lamm scored eight. Lexie Magnani had four points and four rebounds. Elli Liechty, Emma Rugg and Avery Sutter scored two points each and Sutter led the team with five rebounds.
The varsity girls went over .500 with the win. The Panthers currently sit at 10-9. They?ll host Ottumwa in their next game, on Monday, Feb. 5, at 7:30 p.m.
The Panthers also received their postseason assignment. The Panthers will face Keokuk on the road in the first round, on Wednesday Feb. 14. The winner of that game will get Fairfield in the regional semifinals.