N-L’s strong start bumps Panthers

Posted December 26, 2012 at 1:58 pm

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By Pete Temple, Express Sports Editor

Monticello spent most of its Tuesday, Dec. 18 home girls basketball game against North-Linn trying to come back from an early 12-0 deficit.

On a few occasions, the Panthers drew within striking range, but wound up falling short in a 44-29 loss.

After North-Linn, ranked fifth in the state in Class 2A, jumped to its early lead, the Panthers battled back. Monticello trailed by just four points, 22-18, at halftime.

“They were ready to go right from the start,” Monticello coach Donnie Kremer said. “I thought we did an excellent job of rebounding and cutting their lead to four at halftime.”

North-Linn gradually opened up the lead again, however, and by the end of third quarter, the lead was 10 points, 33-23.

The Panthers went on a 6-1 run to start the fourth quarter, on a basket by Hannah Thompson, and two free throws apiece by Allison Kraus and Lael Lubben. That cut the deficit to 34-29 with 4:17 to play.

Monticello didn’t score again, however, as North-Linn scored the final 10 points of the game, including three by free throws in the closing seconds. Nicole Miller hit a key three-point basket with 2:44 to play to open the lead to 39-29.

“Miller’s three-point shot was a big momentum shift,” Kremer said. “We had several opportunities to close in on them, but missed lay-ups, open shots and free throws turned out to be the difference. Good teams finish those off, and right now we are not doing that.”

Paxtyn Keleher and Lubben led the Panthers in scoring with eight points apiece. Thompson and Kraus had five each. Lubben was the leading rebounder with nine, Keleher had six, Sonya McCormick and Kraus had five apiece. Andrea Bone had five steals and three assists, and Lubben made four steals and blocked three shots.

Miller had 12 points and Libby Falconer scored 10 for North-Linn.

The Panthers were supposed to play at Springville Dec. 21, but last week’s snowstorm and ensuing school closings took care of that. The game has been rescheduled for Jan. 4.

Also after the holiday break, the Panthers travel to play non-conference opponent Maquoketa Jan. 5, then return home to face Maquoketa Valley Jan. 8.

Dec. 18

North-Linn 13 9 11 11 – 44

Monticello 6 12 5 6 – 29

NORTH-LINN (44) – Haley Dudley 1-8 3-6 6, Maddie Boer 3-6 1-3 7, Nicole Miller 5-12 0-0 12, Brenna Winn 3-3 1-2 7, Libby Falconer 5-9 0-2 10, Makayla Dobney 1-2 0-2 2, Brooke Dobney 0-0 0-0 0, Morgan Boer 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 18-40 5-15 44.

MONTICELLO (29) – Mandi Miles 0-0 0-0 0, Andrea Bone 0-9 1-3 1, Paxtyn Keleher 4-13 0-2 8, Lael Lubben 2-4 4-4 8, Allison Kraus 1-3 0-3 5, Hannah Thompson 2-3 1-2 5, Sonya McCormick 0-3 2-2 2, Ellen Schlarmann 0-2 0-0 0, Allison Ries 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 9-38 6-11 29.

Three-pointers: Miller 2, Dudley.

Rebounds: Monticello 32 (Lubben 9, Keleher 6), North-Linn 24.

Total fouls: Monticello 18, North-Linn 16.

PHOTO: Paxtyn Keleher of Monticello moves into the lane in the Dec. 18 home game against North-Linn. (Photo by Pete Temple)