Game-winner by Ries gives Panthers first of two victories

Posted January 8, 2014 at 10:36 am

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PHOTO: Allison Ries of Monticello (in black) drives for the game-winning lay-up against North Cedar Jan. 3 in Clarence. (Photo by Pete Temple)


By Pete Temple, Express Sports Editor

With 9.9 seconds left to play and the Monticello Panthers trailing North Cedar by one point, the strategy was simple: Take a shot.

“Basically, in the timeout, I told whoever had the ball to penetrate and get a shot off, Monticello coach Donnie Kremer said.

That “whoever” turned out to be Allison Ries, who drove to her left around a defender and laid the ball up and in with 2.7 seconds left to play. North Cedar’s last-second attempt failed, and the Panthers came away with a 42-41 road victory Friday, Jan. 3 in Clarence.

“Allison got the ball, dribbled up and drove hard to basket, and made a very tough layup,” Kremer said.

Monticello followed that up with a 36-29 win at Tipton Jan. 4, giving the Panthers back-to-back River Valley Conference wins to start the new year.

“This was a big confidence boost for us, since our first back-to-back did not go so well (in losses to Northeast and Anamosa Dec. 13-14),” Kremer said. “As a staff, we are very happy with the progress we have made since break.”

That progress included a pair of big road wins, impressive performances for a young team.

“All break we talked about mental toughness and how that will be the deciding factor in many games we will play,” the coach said. “We are making small improvements with each game. We stressed moving forward, even if it was a small step, as long as we go forward.

“One thing about these girls is that they never stop playing hard. That mentality will give us a chance to win some games.”

The North Cedar game was close throughout, with neither team leading by more than six points. The Panthers took a 13-7 lead in the second quarter, only to have the Knights go on a 10-2 run and regain the lead. The teams were tied 21-21 at halftime.

North Cedar led 31-30 after three quarters, and led for almost the entire fourth quarter, but never by more than four.

A three-point basket by Sonya McCormick cut North Cedar’s lead to 39-38 with 1:08 to play. Following a layup by Alison Malaby of the Knights, McCormick sank two free throws to pull the Panthers to within 41-40 with 18.4 seconds to play.

The Knights then missed two free throws with 11.5 left, and the Panthers rebounded and called time-out with 9.9 left. Ries then followed with the game-winning lay-up.

Ellen Schlarman led Monticello in scoring with 11 points, including 7-for-7 from the free throw line. McCormick finished with a double-double, 10 points and 11 rebounds. Traci Plummer and Shay Stephen had six points apiece. Krysten Tighe made four steals.

The Tipton game on Saturday was also close until the Panthers pulled away in the fourth quarter with free throws to win by seven. Monticello led 19-13 at halftime.

Schlarmann finished with 12 points, shooting 8-for-12 from the line. Plummer shot 3-for-5 from the field and totaled seven points and 10 rebounds. McCormick had nine rebounds.

“I thought we did a very good job defensively,” Kremer said. “We rebounded very well.”

Mandi Miles had five assists and three steals, and Ries had four steals.

Monticello had three games scheduled this week, starting with a Jan. 7 contest at Cascade. The Panthers will play host to Bellevue Jan. 10, and then face Iowa City Regina as part of Rivalry Saturday on Jan. 11, 1 p.m. at the U.S. Cellular Center in Cedar Rapids.

Jan. 3

Monticello 8 13 9 12 – 42

N. Cedar 5 16 10 10 – 41

MONTICELLO (42) – Mandi Miles 1-8 0-0 2, Ellen Schlarmann 2-8 7-7 11, Allison Ries 1-4 0-0 2, Traci Plummer 1-4 4-9 6, Sonya McCormick 3-11 3-6 10, Shay Stephen 2-8 2-2 6, Macey Spensley 1-4 1-2 3, Krysten Tighe 0-3 2-2 2, McKenna Kremer 0-2 0-0 0, Sydni Tuetken 0-0 0-0 0, Jacqueline Petersen 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 11-52 19-28 42.

NORTH CEDAR (41) – Cortlyn Kasik 0-3 0-2 0, Jordan Bendixen 4-10 2-4 11, Alison Malaby 5-14 3-8 14, Allison Jensen 3-8 0-1 6, Steph Jones 1-4 1-2 3, Meranda Thimmes 2-5 1-6 5, Emily Flockhart 1-1 0-2 2, Lexis Wagner 0-1 0-0 0, Beth Curley 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 16-46 7-25 41.

Three-pointers: McCormick; Bendixen, Malaby.

Rebounds: Monticello 39 (McCormick 11, Tighe 6), North Cedar 23

Total fouls: Monticello 23, North Cedar 23.

Jan. 4

Monticello 7 12 8 9 – 36

Tipton 8 5 10 6 – 29

MONTICELLO (36) – Mandi Miles 0-2 0-1 0, Ellen Schlarmann 2-5 8-12 12, Allison Ries 1-7 3-4 6, Traci Plummer 3-5 1-2 7, Sonya McCormick 1-9 2-4 4, Shay Stephen 0-1 3-4 3, Krysten Tighe 1-3 0-0 2, Macey Spensley 1-1 0-0 2, McKenna Kremer 0-2 0-0 0, Sydni Tuetken 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 9-35 17-27 36.

Three-pointer: Ries.

Rebounds: Monticello 35 (Plummer 10, McCormick 9).

Total fouls: Monticello 19.