Week includes regional win, Kuper record


Jordan Kuper of Monticello (54) works for position during the regional quarterfinal win over Mount Vernon Feb. 15 in Monticello. Kuper is the new MHS career rebounding leader. (Photos by Pete Temple)

Gabrielle Steiner of the Panthers keeps the ball away from Mount Vernon opponents Saturday.
GIRLS BASKETBALL
By: 
Pete Temple
Express Sports Editor

     Monticello opened its post-season run successfully, and senior Jordan Kuper etched her name in the Panther girls basketball record books by grabbing the school career rebounding record.

     Those things didn’t happen in the same game, but were part of a big week for the Panthers.

     Monticello (17-5) started Class 3A, Region 5 play with a 47-35 quarterfinal win over Mount Vernon Feb. 15 at Monticello High School.

     A big start was key, as was the ability to battle back when the tenacious Mustangs made things close in the second half.

     “I thought we made good adjustments with their pressure, and our execution on offense was once again really good,” Monticello coach Donnie Kremer said. “I thought our defensive intensity was very good as well.”

     To start the game, Monticello answered an early Mount Vernon basket with an 11-2 run, and wound up leading 14-6 after one quarter. The lead hovered around 10 for most of the second period, before the teams headed to the locker room with Monticello holding a 23-16 advantage.

     The Mustangs scored the first five points of the third quarter to cut the margin to two, 23-21.

     “Mount Vernon plays hard and kept pressure on us,” the coach said. “We did not do a very good job of finishing around the basket, or of taking care of the ball.”

     Monticello did answer, however, with nine straight points, on a three-point basket by Karli Recker, two baskets by Tori McDonald (one off an assist from Gabrielle Guilford), and a layup by Kuper.

     “We ran some sets that led to easy baskets for us,” Kremer said. “Great teams answer runs by other teams, and I thought we did an excellent job answering that run in the third quarter.”

     The Panthers led 32-21 with 2:35 left in the third, and held a 33-24 lead with one quarter to play.

     Monticello then had a 7-0 run to start the fourth, opening a 16-point lead, and the margin remained in double digits the rest of the way.

     Kuper had a double-double with 15 points and 11 rebounds, shooting 7-for-8 from the free throw line. Guilford had eight points and five rebounds, and Lydia Recker came off the bench to score six. McDonald had five rebounds and five assists.

     The record-breaking rebound for Kuper came in the Jan. 10 makeup game at Mid-Prairie, which was a 57-17 win for Monticello.

     Kuper broke the previous record of Lisa Tuetken, who had 668 in the 1980s. Kuper had eight against Mid-Prairie before getting the 11 against Mount Vernon for a running career total of 686.

     “Jordan has been our leading rebounder for three years,” coach Kremer said. “Being tall has helped, but she also has great instincts for finding the ball.”

     The Mid-Prairie game itself was not competitive; the Panthers led 16-7 after one quarter, 27-12 at halftime, and then outscored the Golden Hawks 21-0 in the third period.

     “We used our 1-3-1 and 1-2-2 defenses in the second half, and it caused them a lot of problems,” the coach said. “Our overall effort was fantastic. It was a great way to end the regular season.”

Vinton-Shellsburg next

     Monticello will play host to Vinton-Shellsburg (12-10) in the regional semifinals Wednesday, Feb. 19, 7 p.m.

     The winner will advance to the regional championship game against either Dike-New Hartford or Waterloo Columbus, to be played in Solon Feb. 22 at 4 p.m.

 

Feb. 10

Monti  16 11 21   9 – 57

M-P         7    5   0   5 – 17

     MONTICELLO (57) – Gabrielle Steiner 8-11 3-3 19, Tori McDonald 1-5 1-2 3, Gabrielle Guilford 2-3 0-0 4, Karli Recker 4-9 0-0 11, Jordan Kuper 5-11 0-2 10, Carly Hayen 2-3 2-4 6, Lydia Recker 0-1 0-0 0, Emily Schlarmann 0-0 0-1 0, Bronwyn Hodge 0-0 1-2 1, Katie Roher 1-1 0-0 2, Brea Stahlberg 0-0 1-2 1, DeLainy Fellinger 0-0 0-0 0, Jaelyn Aitchison 0-0 0-0 0, Madison Butterworth 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 23-44 8-16 57.

     MID-PRAIRIE (17) – Caitlyn Riggan 0-6 2-2 2, Amara Jones 0-2 0-0 0, Myah Lugar 3-6 1-2 9, Phelan Hostetler 0-5 1-2 1, Colby Rourke 1-2 0-0 2, Jaselyn Robertson 1-2 1-2 3, Georgia Nisly 0-3 0-0 0, Lane Bowlin 0-2 0-0 0, Abby Frantz 0-2 0-0 0, Sadie Frantz 0-2 0-0 0, Alyssa M Dowell 0-1 0-0 0, Maya Nonnenmann 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 5-34 5-8 17.

     Three-pointers: K. Recker 3; Lugar 2.

     Rebounds: Monticello 28 (Kuper 8, K. Recker 5, Hayen 3, Fellinger 3), Mid-Prairie 20.

     Total fouls: Mid-Prairie 16, Monticello 9.

 

Feb. 15

Class 3A Region 5

Quarterfinal

(at Monticello)

Mt. V.    6 10   8 11 – 35

Monti 14   9 12 12 – 47

     MONTICELLO (47) – Gabrielle Steiner 3-9 1-3 7, Tori McDonald 2-3 1-2 5, Gabrielle Guilford 3-6 1-2 8, Karli Recker 2-8 0-1 5, Jordan Kuper 4-7 7-8 11, Carly Hayen 0-0 1-2 1, Lydia Recker 2-2 1-2 6, Emily Schlarmann 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 16-35 12-20 47.

     Three-pointers: Guilford, K. Recker, L. Recker.

     Rebounds: Monticello 30 (Kuper 11, Steiner 5, McDonald 5, Guilford 5).

     Total fouls: Monticello 9.

 

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