Winning streak ends at eight

Posted January 31, 2013 at 3:42 pm

gb 1-coloroutline.tif

GIRLS BASKETBALL

By Pete Temple, Express Sports Editor

The impressive run made by the Monticello High School girls basketball team – eight consecutive victories – came to an end in a non-conference game against Northeast Saturday.

Before that, the Panthers (11-3, 15-4) hadn’t lost since a Dec. 18 game against North-Linn, a streak that included two wins over ranked opponents.

Two more of those wins were notched last week, in decidedly different games. First, the Panthers stormed to a 28-10 halftime lead in a 57-20 home win over East Buchanan Jan. 22 in Monticello.

Then, Monticello rallied from a second half deficit to edge Starmont 40-38 Jan. 25 in Starmont.

“We have been playing as a team, and playing very good defense,” Monticello coach Donnie Kremer said. “Plus, we are shooting slightly better than we were early in the season.”

Against East Buchanan, 11 Panthers worked into the scoring ledger, led by Mandi Miles and Paxtyn Keleher, with 10 points apiece. Keleher also had seven assists and six steals to lead the team in those categories.

The Starmont game was a challenge. After leading 21-16 at halftime, the Panthers fell behind when the Stars outscored them 15-7 in the third quarter.

Keleher sank two free throws with 17 seconds left to put the Panthers ahead 39-38. Keleher then made a steal and was fouled with 7.4 seconds left, and she made one of two free throws.

Starmont had one last chance at a three-point shot that would have won it, but the ball went in and out, and Monticello came away with the win.

“We started to play harder and with more intensity,” Kremer said. “We kept plugging away with each trip down the floor.”

Keleher finished with 17 points in the Starmont game, including 6-for-6 from the free throw line. Miles added eight points, making a pair of three-point shots for the second straight game. Lael Lubben had six rebounds and four steals, and Miles made four steals as well.

The Panthers played Northeast Jan. 26 at Monticello Middle School, as the high school was unavailable due to the Tri-Rivers Conference Wrestling Tournament.

The two teams, who will both join the River Valley Conference next year, staged a back-and-forth game before Northeast won 59-54.

Northeast led 28-26 at halftime before the Panthers rallied in the third quarter, taking a 37-35 lead with eight minutes to play.

The Rebels came back again, going on a 16-6 run in the first four minutes of the final period to lead 53-46. Monticello was never able to get closer than five points behind after that.

A key factor was free throw shooting; Monticello made just 10 of 25 foul shots.

“Free throws definitely decided this game,” Kremer said. “It is hard to win against a quality team when you cannot convert at the line.

“We also did not do a very good job of blocking out. We would force a tough shot but forget to block out, and they would get another attempt at the basket. We must do a better job of this.”

Keleher shot 9-for-17 from the field and finished with 21 points for the Panthers. She also led the team with 12 rebounds, four assists and three steals.

Andrea Bone scored 10 points, and Sonya McCormick came off the bench to add eight points, shooting 4-for-7 from the field. McCormick also had seven rebounds.

The schedule gets lighter now for the Panthers, who were slated to close out their regular season with a Jan. 29 game at North-Linn and a Feb. 1 home game against Springville. Then, Monticello is off until opening the post-season Feb. 9 at home against Anamosa.

Jan. 22

E. Buchanan 3 7 6 4 – 20

Monticello 16 12 19 10 – 57

EAST BUCHANAN (20) – Saige Wideboer 0-0 0-0 0, Alea Meyer 0-1 0-0 0, Samantha Gerbracht 4-12 1-5 9, Makenzie Fangman 0-1 0-0 0, Andrea Hughson 1-6 0-2 2, Kaylee Naber 1-4 2-4 4, Kylee Cooksley 2-4 0-0 4, Sarah Terhark 0-0 0-0 0, Kristin Mossman 0-2 0-0 0, Haylee Lau 0-0 0-0 0, Emily Prince 0-0 0-0 0, Adrienne Staton 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 8-31 3-11 20.

MONTICELLO (57) – Mandi Miles 4-4 0-0 10, Andrea Bone 1-5 1-4 3, Paxtyn Keleher 5-12 0-0 10, Lael Lubben 3-3 2-2 8, Allison Kraus 0-0 0-0 0, Ellen Schlarmann 1-4 2-3 4, Allison Ries 1-2 0-0 3, Tessa Leibold 2-3 0-0 4, Sonya McCormick 2-3 2-4 6, Hannah Thompson 1-2 0-0 2, McKenna Kremer 0-0 0-0 0, Kori Bohlken 1-1 0-0 2, Traci Plummer 2-2 0-1 4, Anna Finger 0-2 1-2 1. Totals 23-43 8-17 57.

Three-pointers: Naber; Miles 2, Ries.

Rebounds: Monticello 31 (Keleher 6, McCormick 5, Plummer 4), East Buchanan 21.

Total fouls: East Buchanan 16, Monticello 15.

Jan. 25

Monticello 10 11 7 12 – 40

Starmont 9 7 15 7 – 38

MONTICELLO (40) – Mandi Miles 3-10 0-0 8, Andrea Bone 2-8 0-6 4, Paxtyn Keleher 5-15 6-6 17, Lael Lubben 0-4 5-6 5, Allison Kraus 0-0 2-2 2, Ellen Schlarmann 2-5 0-0 4, Allison Ries 0-1 0-0 0, Tessa Leibold 0-1 0-0 0, Hannah Thompson 0-0 0-0 0, Sonya McCormick 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 12-46 13-20 40.

STARMONT (38) – Kendra Nolan 3-5 0-1 6, Nicole Baumgartner 1-3 0-0 2, Ellen Opperman 3-7 6-7 13, Chelsea Berry 5-11 2-4 13, Brooke Kronebusch 2-4 0-0 4, Halicia Hamlett 0-0 0-0 0, Danielle Fedeler 0-0 0-0 0, Sara Baumgartner 0-0 0-0 0, Mica Moeller 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 14-30 8-12 38.

Three-pointers: Miles 2, Keleher; Opperman, Berry.

Rebounds: Monticello 24 (Lubben 6, Keleher 5, McCormick 5).

Total fouls: Monticello 18, Starmont 17.

Jan. 26

Northeast 18 10 7 24 – 59

Monticello 15 11 11 17 – 54

MONTICELLO (54) – Mandi Miles 1-4 0-0 2, Andrea Bone 2-12 5-9 10, Paxtyn Keleher 9-17 2-8 21, Lael Lubben 1-1 1-2 3, Allison Kraus 2-4 0-0 4, Sonya McCormick 4-7 0-2 8, Ellen Schlarmann 1-5 0-0 2, Allison Ries 0-0 1-2 1, Hannah Thompson 1-1 0-0 2, Tessa Leibold 0-1 1-2 1. Totals 21-52 10-25 54.

Three-pointers: Bone, Keleher.

Rebounds: Monticello 31 (Keleher 12, McCormick 7).

Total fouls: Monticello 22.

PHOTO: Paxtyn Keleher checks out the defense during Monticello’s Jan. 22 home win over East Buchanan. (Photo by Pete Temple)

Bla