By Andy Krutsinger, Mt. Pleasant News
The Mt. Pleasant girls? basketball team has won three games in a row after running away from Ft. Madison 45-26 on Friday night and storming back to beat Burlington 57-52 on Saturday.
The Bloodhounds kept things close through the first three quarters on Friday night. Mt. Pleasant outscored Ft. Madison in each period but had a hard time getting seperation.
The Panthers led 10-5 after the first quarter, but were able to stretch the lead by just one point in the next two periods. Mt. Pleasant took a 25-19 lead into halftime and a 32-25 advantage in to the fourth quarter.
When the final period hit, the Panthers were at their best. Mt. Pleasant?s defense hammered down, holding the Hounds to just one point. The MPCHS offense was able to score 13 points of their own to blow the game open, eventually finishing with a comfortable 19-point lead.
Maddie Williamson and Isabel Ashton co-led the squad with 12 points apiece in the victory. Ashton had six rebounds to co-lead the squad. Kalynn Batey filled the stat sheet with 11 points, seven steals, six rebounds and five assists.
Sadie Carrasco had four points and swatted away four Bloodhound shots in the win. Taylor Murray, Elli Liechty and Emma Huckabone each scored two points.
Mt. Pleasant was put to the test on Saturday when Burlington exploded in the first quarter. The Grayhounds hit shot after shot early on, outscoring the Panthers 22-10. Batey had seven points to keep the Panthers afloat.
Mt. Pleasant started chipping away at the lead in the second quarter. Williamson scored seven points in the period and Mt. Pleasant used a 16-11 advantage to cut the Burlington lead to 33-26 at the break.
The Panthers continued to cut in to the lead in the third quarter. Mt. Pleasant eventually got the lead down to two points, and that?s where it would stay at the end of the period, with Burlington leading 44-42.
The Grayhounds held off the Panthers throughout most of the third quarter, but it seemed inevitable that Mt. Pleasant would take back the lead. Trailing 50-49 with 2:46, it was Batey who made the shot to finally put the Panthers on top. She hit a three-pointer from the corner that gave MPCHS a two-point lead at 52-50.
Burlington tied the game on a couple of free throws and it stayed knotted up at 52-52 until the final minute. Williamson gave the Panthers the lead for good with a fastbreak layup in the final minute. Batey came up with a steal on the other end and Williamson hit a couple free throws to put the game on ice after an intentional foul. One more free throw from Batey made it 57-52, and that?s where the score would end.
?We just kept battling,? said head coach Curt Watson after the win. ?(Burlington) came out and shot really well in the first quarter, and they hadn?t shot that well all year. We told the girls at the end of the first quarter, we?ve just got to take one possession at a time and just claw our way back into the game.?
Williamson ended the night with 20 points and three steals to lead the team. Batey had a double-double with 17 points and 11 rebounds, and co-led the squad with three steals. Ashton scored 11 points, nine of which came at the free throw line where she finished 9-15.
Lydia Stewart had six points in the win. Huckabone scored two points and Murray finished the night with one point and four assists.