Panther girls nuke Nikes on the road

By Andy Krutsinger, Mt. Pleasant News


BURLINGTON ? Everything was clicking for the Mt. Pleasant girls? basketball team on Monday night. The Panthers went in to Burlington and rolled over the hosting Nikes, 63-28.

The first two quarters set the tone for the night with a couple of big point totals for Mt. Pleasant. The Panthers used a high-pressure defense to force a handful of Nike turnovers and Maddie Williamson relentlessly took the ball to the basket for a flurry of inside buckets.

The Pathers got out to a 10-point lead early, taking the first quarter 15-5, and dropped 24 points in the second quarter, 11 of which were from Williamson, to stretch the lead to 20 points at halftime. The Panthers were fully in control at the break, leading 39-19.

Mt. Pleasant continued to cruise in the third quarter, especially on the defensive side of the ball. The Nikes were held to a game-low four points in the third period and the Panthers were five points away from a running clock, leading 53-23.

Mt. Pleasant was able to take a 35-point lead early in the fourth quarter, which made a handful of minutes fly by with the running clock. Mt. Pleasant eventually won the fourth period 10-5 to secure the 35-point victory.

After the game, Coach Curt Watson said he was pleased with a nine-girl rotation that he had put in for the contest, and credited his two big scorers for showing up on the same night.

?It?s kind of nice when (Williamson and Kalynn Batey) get up there,? Watson said. ?We?re pretty tough to beat when Maddie and Kalynn get up to the 40?s for us.?

Williamson finished the night with 29 points. Batey had 16 points and 11 rebounds, and Sadie Carrasco added 11 points to give the Panthers three double-digit scorers.

Coach Watson says the team will hope to use this as a spring board as they try and end the regular season on a high note in preperation for what promises to be a tough postseason schedule.

?It?s big because we just needed to get a winning streak started here (and) you have to win that first one to get it going,? Watson said. ?It?s kind of nice to see the girls smile and have a little bit of fun tonight.?

The Panthers moved to 7-9 overall. They will look to improve their 3-3 Southeast Conference record in a road game at Ft. Madison on Friday, Jan. 26.