JV goes 1-1 in strong week


Junior varsity

     This past week the Monticello JV basketball boys split two conference games, losing on the road to Cascade and then earning a home victory over the Tipton Tigers.

     On Jan. 31, Monticello (6-10, 8-11) made the short trip over to Cascade to face an undefeated Cougar JV team. Panther shooting was dismal through most of the first half. Monticello trailed by as many as 13 points before closing the gap to 27-18 as the first half came to an end.

     The third quarter proved to be one of the JV’s best quarters of the season. The Panther defense was stellar as the offense went on a 12-0 run. Cascade responded with an end-of-quarter run of its own, leading by five at the quarter. The fourth session was a defensive standoff as each team’s outside shooting faltered. Cold shooting and late turnovers doomed the Panthers as they fell 42-32. Cascade’s Reid Rausch led all scorers with 16 points. Will Rieniets paced the Panthers with nine points. Kegan Arduser added eight points.

     The junior varsity game against Tipton Feb. 3 in Monticello was an exciting contest between two closely matched teams. After falling behind 6-0 at the start of the game, the Panthers closed to within one point at the end of the first quarter. The second quarter was a hard-fought stanza with both teams turning up their offense. Monticello could find no answer to the Tigers’ up-tempo game and trailed by two at the half 19-17. Tipton continued its offensive assault and Monticello trailed 35-29 after three quarters.

     In the fourth quarter, the Panthers went from a zone defense to full court man-to-man pressure and the game turned completely around.  Monticello caught fire. Rieniets exploded for 22 second half points as Monticello roared back to take a 41-40 lead. With a little over one minute remaining the Panthers held a slim 44-43 lead. Panther free throws sealed the 49-43 win. Rieniets scored in every possible way on the way to a 25-point effort. He poured in three, three-point shots and was 12-for-14 from the free throw line.

     Coach Steve Rucker commented, “This week meant a lot to our program. Our players turned in two excellent quarters against Cascade. We had an opportunity to defeat a very good team, but fell short. Against Tipton they had the same opportunity and learned how to win. I told our players that learning how to win was a huge step for them. JV basketball is all about preparing for the next level. This week was a big step forward towards that objective. It is gratifying to see them mature. ”

     Panthers were scheduled to close their season on Tuesday, Feb. 7, at Bellevue.

– Steve Rucker, head coach


Eighth grade

     Monticello’s eighth-grade boys basketball teams faced two opponents in a total of four games in recent action, winning twice.

     Monticello played host to Camanche Jan. 23, and split two games. The A team lost 41-40, despite a 17-point game from Tyler Luensman. Connor Lambert scored eight points, Justin Recker had seven, Luke Lambert had four, while Grahm Schneiter and Brayden Cleeton had two apiece.

     The B team won 16-11. Jasper Nietert scored six points, Dominik Chally and Andrew Morris had four each, and Caleb Gillmore added two.

     On Jan. 26, the teams traveled to Cascade and split two games. The A team won 50-36 as three Panthers scored in double figures: Connor Lambert with 12, Schneiter and Recker with 11 apiece. Luke Lambert added nine and Luensman scored seven.

     Monticello lost the B game 12-8. Scoring two points apiece were Noah Arduser, David Fokken, Levi Temple and Gillmore.


Seventh grade

     Monticello had a road date and a home date in seventh-grade boys basketball action last week.

     At North Cedar Jan. 30, Monticello lost twice. The Red lost 47-29, and the Black fell by a score of 42-12.

     Monticello played three games against Anamosa teams Feb. 3 in Monticello. Anamosa won all three, 47-18 in the A game, 15-13 in the B game, and 22-2 in the C game.

     “I like how the kids are playing,” Monticello coach Joe Steen said. “They are learning and growing each game, and you can see the improvement.”




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