By Andy Krutsinger, Mt. Pleasant News
It was a busy weekend for the Mt. Pleasant girls? basketball team. The Panthers stayed within one game of the SEC lead on Friday night with a 58-27 win over Ft. Madison, but fell to an unbeaten Central Lee team, 49-32, on Saturday.
Friday?s conference game got out to a slow start offensively with both teams struggling to find the bucket. The Bloodhounds took an early 2-0 lead but Mt. Pleasant was able to hit a trio of shots inside to take a 6-2 lead. That was all the first-quarter scoring though, and the Panthers took a four-point lead into the second quarter.
Maddie Williamson took over in the second quarter. She went off for 14 points in the period and ended with a 16-point first half to lead the Panthers to a 26-13 halftime advantage.
Williamson continued to pace the Panthers in the third quarter, pacing the squad with six points as MPCHS began to run away in the third period. Mt. Pleasant led 41-23 after three quarters and dominated the fourth quarter 17-4 to finish off the blowout.
Williamson went 11-19 from the field and hit two three-pointers in a 24-point night. She also led the team with four steals. Kalynn Batey filled up the stat sheet all game, tallying a triple-double with 12 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists, and blocking three shots on the night.
Taylor Murray scored eight points in the win. Isabel Ashton finished with six. Emma Huckabone scored four. Sadie Carrasco had two points and three blocks, and Serenity Keomanivong had two points.
After the game, head coach Curt Watson said the early struggles offensively were mostly due to missing shots, and that he was glad the team knocked down a few more in the final two quarters.
?We couldn?t get shots to fall in the first half, and we pounded to the girls at halftime that we?ve got to make our shots,? Watson said after the game. ?We had 12 missed bunnies in the first half, and we just have to make those.?
Central Lee grinded the Panthers down all game long on Saturday, holding the Panthers to single digits in three of the four quarters and dominating the inside game offensively.
Williamson kept up her scoring pace in the first quarter on Saturday, putting up seven points in the period and helping Mt. Pleasant stay within five, trailing 15-10.
Central Lee stretched their lead by two points in the second quarter. Williamson had three fouls and had to sit a majority of the second quarter, but a five-point game by Batey helped MPCHS stick close. The Hawks led 24-17 at the break.
Mt. Pleasant showed a little fatigue in the second half and the Hawks were able to run the lead to double-digits, and eventually run away with a 17-point win.
Central Lee was without leading scorer MacKenzie Northup on Saturday, but the rest of the team did plenty enough work to make up for it. Coach Watson gave the Hawks credit for having different players step up.
?You have to give them credit,? Watson said. ?They had girls step up in her absence. She?s their leading scorer, and their leader and the other girls stepped up for her.?
Only three Panthers found the scoreboard in the loss. Williamson finished with 16 points, four rebounds and two assists. Batey had 12 points and four rebounds, and Murray finished with four points, three blocks and two assists.
Mt. Pleasant moved to 3-3 with the weeekend?s results. They?ll face Davis County on the road Tuesday, Dec. 18, at 7:30 p.m.