Northeast, West Branch defeat JV Panthers


     The Monticello junior varsity boys basketball team opened its 2016-2017 season with losses to the Northeast Goose Lake Rebels and West Branch Bears.

     The Northeast game was a typical hard-fought contest between these two rivals. The first half was characterized by tough defense and several lead changes. The Rebels led 16-14 at halftime. In the second half turnovers and poor shooting doomed the Panthers as Northeast pulled away for a 40-27 win. Jon Mootz led the Panthers with nine points.

     At West Branch, Monticello dug an early hole from which it never recovered. Turnovers and fouls plagued the Panthers throughout. Thirteen first half turnovers hobbled Monticello and allowed West Branch to build a five-point lead after two quarters. In the second half, the Panthers’ play improved. They made several runs, which West Branch held off. West Branch prevailed 42-37. Devin Kraus and Gavin Cooper had 13 and 11 points respectively.

     This week Monticello hosts Camanche and goes on the road Friday and Saturday against North Cedar and its traditional rival, the Anamosa Blue Raiders.

– Steve Rucker, head coach


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