Three-victory stretch extends Panthers' win streak to seven


Taylor McDonald of Monticello (10) goes to the hoop in the Jan. 26 home game against Durant. (Photos by Pete Temple)

Lauren Ries of the Panthers (left) drives into the frontcourt, chased by Maquoketa Valley’s Ella Imler, Jan. 25 in Delhi.

Jordan Kuper puts up a shot in the Maquoketa Valley game. Her free throws two nights earlier at North Cedar provided the Panthers with the game-winning points.
GIRLS BASKETBALL
By: 
Pete Temple
Express Sports Editor

     It took clutch free throw shooting by Jordan Kuper in one game, and a big second half comeback in another, but the Monticello High School girls basketball team was able to collect three more wins last week.

     Included were a 58-57 win at North Cedar Jan. 23, in which Kuper made two free throws with .8 of a second left to secure the win; a 70-61 comeback win at Maquoketa Valley Jan. 25, and a 64-22 home rout of Durant Jan. 26.

     The wins left Monticello 12-3 in River Valley Conference play, 15-4 overall. The Panthers have now won seven games in a row, and are 9-1 in 2018.

     At North Cedar Tuesday, the Panthers trailed by one point in the closing seconds, when Jordan Kuper was fouled on a put-back attempt after getting an offensive rebound, with eight-tenths of a second left. Kuper made both free throws, and Monticello came away with the win.

     North Cedar led 16-10 after one quarter, 28-24 at halftime, and 45-38 after three quarters, before the Panthers rallied in the final eight minutes.

     “They did a great job of crashing the offensive glass,” Monticello coach Donnie Kremer said of the North Cedar players. “And they did a very good job of taking care of the ball until the fourth quarter.

     “I thought we did a great job of creating turnovers in the fourth quarter, which led to easy baskets. Plus we made our free throws down the stretch.”

     Four Monticello players scored in double figures; Kuper had a double-double with 10 points and 14 rebounds. Lauren Ries was the leading scorer with 14 points, Maddie Fellinger had 13, and Taylor McDonald added 12, along with five assists and four steals.

     The Panthers found themselves trailing Maquoketa Valley 34-26 at halftime on Thursday, as Wildcat guard Sam Wall scored 22 first half points.

     Then, Monticello went on a 29-10 run that lasted through the third quarter and 2:30 into the fourth, giving the Panthers a 55-44 lead.

     “We did a better job of finding Sam and keeping her in front of us,” Kremer explained. “I thought we did a great job of showing patience on offense, and took care of the ball much better in the second half.”

     The Wildcats never came closer than seven points behind from then on, as Monticello made seven of 10 free throws in the last two minutes to wrap up the win.

     Taylor McDonald scored 22 points, including 9-for-12 from the free throw line, in the game. Ries had 18 points, Jordan Kuper added 16, and Maddie Fellinger had eight. Ries had nine rebounds, three assists, and two blocked shots. Maddie Lambert and Sydney Hansen each blocked a shot as well.

     Durant was no match for Monticello’s pressure during Senior Night on Friday; the Panthers collected 26 steals and dominated throughout. Monticello led 35-14 at halftime, 50-18 after three quarters.

     “I thought we started out very well and just kept getting better as the night went on,” the coach said. “We were able to get everyone in, and the seniors got a chance to play together.”

     Taylor McDonald had 19 points, nine rebounds and seven steals. Ries added 15 points. Fellinger had four steals. Kuper had six points, and Caitlyn Cruise scored five.

 

Panthers to open

regionals at home

     Regional girls' basketball pairings have been released. Monticello will play host to Solon on Feb. 10 at 7 p.m. in a Class 3A, Region 3 quarterfinal game. The Panthers would also host the semifinal if they win, Feb. 14 against either Vinton-Shellsburg or Benton Community. The final is Feb. 17 at Independence; Osage is the likely favorite in the other bracket.

 

Jan. 23

Monti      10 14 14 20 – 58

N. Cedar 16 12 17 14 – 57

     MONTICELLO (58) – Taylor McDonald 5 1-1 12, Maddie Fellinger 3 5-5 13, Lauren Ries 6 0-0 14, Maddie Lambert 0 1-2 1, Jordan Kuper 2 6-10 10, Carly Hayen 3 0-3 6, Sydney Hansen 1 0-0 2, Caitlyn Cruise 0 0-0 0, Gabrielle Steiner 0 0-0 0. Totals 20 13-21 58.

     NORTH CEDAR (57) – Tessa Fields 4-12 2-3 10, Lexi Crist 3-9 0-0 7, Grace Proesch 1-2 2-2 4, Darby Hawtrey 8-18 7-10 23, Leah Crock 2-4 0-0 4, Nicole Sander 3-6 0-0 9. Totals 21-51 11-15 57.

     Three-pointers: Fellinger 2, Ries 2, Ta. McDonald; Sander 3, Crist.

     Rebounds: North Cedar 29, Monticello 28 (Kuper 14, Fellinger 6).

     Total fouls: Monticello 15, North Cedar 7.

 

Jan. 25

Monti     14 12 22 22 – 70

Maq. V.  19 15 10 17 – 61

     MONTICELLO (70) – Taylor McDonald 6 9-12 22, Maddie Fellinger 2 2-2 8, Lauren Reis 5 4-4 18, Maddie Lambert 0 3-4 3, Jordan Kuper 8 0-0 16, Caitlyn Cruise 0 1-2 1, Carly Hayen 0 2-4 2, Sydney Hansen 0 0-0 0, Gabrielle Steiner 0 0-0 0, Tori McDonald 0 0-0 0. Totals 21 21-28 70.

     Three-pointers: Ries 4, Fellinger 2, Ta. McDonald.

     Rebounds: Monticello 33 (Ries 9, Kuper 6).

     Total fouls: Monticello 16.

 

Jan. 26

Durant    3  11   4    4 – 22

Monti    14  21 15 14 – 64

     DURANT (22) – Hannah Happ 1-2 2-2 4, Kamryn Meyer 2-7 0-2 4, Annie Taylor 0-5 1-4 1, Kylie Kay 5-8 0-0 11, Lauren Ralfs 0-7 2-2 2, Brittany Kahl 0-0 0-0 0, Emily Seligman 0-5 0-0 0, Kaitlyn Siese 0-1 0-0 0, Claire Paulsen 0-1 0-0 0, Kira Schult 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 8-37 5-10 22.

     MONTICELLO (64) – Taylor McDonald 6-14 5-6 19, Maddie Fellinger 1-4 1-1 3, Lauren Ries 6-15 2-2 15, Maddie Lambert 2-2 0-0 4, Jordan Kuper 3-4 0-0 6, Caitlyn Cruise 2-3 0-0 5, Carly Hayen 0-0 0-0 0, Gabrielle Steiner 1-1 2-2 4, Sydney Hansen 1-1 0-0 2, Lydia Franzenburg 1-1 0-0 2, Tori McDonald 1-2 0-0 2, Marissa Recker 1-1 0-0 2, Aspen Gillmore 0-1 0-0 0, Savanah Kremer 0-5 0-0 0, Meredith Melchert 0-3 0-0 0, Emmi Sampson 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 25-58 10-11 64.

     Three-pointers: Kay; Ta. McDonald 2, Ries, Cruise.

     Rebounds: Monticello 36 (Ta. McDonald 9, Hayen 5), Durant 28.

     Total fouls: Durant 15, Monticello 11.

 

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