By Andy Krutsinger, Mt. Pleasant News
The second-ranked Mt. Pleasant boys put a hurting on Centerville on Thursday night. The Panthers put up a season-high in points, pummeling the Big Reds 91-51 in non-conference play.
The Panthers broke the game open early with a flurry of steals and easy buckets. Seven Mt. Pleasant players scored in the first quarter, led by eight each from Brady Sartorius and Jordan Magnani. After the first eight minutes of play, MPCHS led 29-5.
Mt. Pleasant continued the scoring barrage in the second quarter. Colin Mulford scored seven points in the period to lead the way as the Panthers put up 22 more points and took a 51-17 lead into halftime, one point away from starting a running clock via the 35-point rule.
The Panthers began the third quarter with a handful of layups and never looked back from their 35-plus point lead. The running clock was set for almost the entire third quarter, but Mt. Pleasant still had enough time to score 26 points and take a 77-31 lead into the fourth.
The starting five was able to rest for the entire fourth period, but the Panther bench was still able to outscore the Big Reds. Mt. Pleasant outscored Centerville 14-10 in the final quarter.
After the game, Coach Paul Rundquist said he was proud of his team?s effort in continuing to play hard even with the big lead.
?We just don?t want to play the scoreboard,? Rundquist said. ?We want to continue to get better, and if you?re playing that scoreboard and you have a sizable lead, you can get sloppy.?
Rundquist also talked about getting the team into postseason shape. As the regular season winds down, Mt. Pleasant has just three games remaining.
?I think a lot of it is (getting ready),? Rundquist said. ?It?s a matter of maintaining focus, but we want to get better every practice and every game. It?s very important to us to look ahead and concentrate on the task ahead.?
Sartorius finished the game with 25 points to lead the team. Mulford had 17. Magnani scored 15 and Jonathan Ita finished with 10 to give the Panthers four scorers in double digits.
Tucker Johnson had nine points in the win. Rhett Zeglen scored four. Keegan Kohorst had three. Maison Ashton, Will Copeland, Kieran Kohorst and Riley McQuiggin had two each.
The Panthers moved to 15-3 overall this season. They will be back at home on Monday, Feb. 5, when they host Ottumwa at 7:30 p.m.