It was obvious from the beginning of Friday’s girls basketball game that Southeast Conference rivals Mt. Pleasant and Washington had played each other before.
Mt. Pleasant’s defense seemed to know every pass the Demons were going to make and used that defense to turn a 9-7 advantage after one quarter into a 26-12 halftime lead with Elli Liechty’s basket at the buzzer.
It was still a 13-point lead at 38-25 starting the final period, but the Demons scored the first nine points of the fourth quarter and eventually tied the game at 41.Two clutch free throws by Maddie Williamson with 21 seconds remaining gave the Panthers a 43-41 lead, but Isabel Bailey matched those foul shots with two of her own to tie it at 43 with 15 seconds left.
The Panthers broke Washington’s full-court press and Liechty converted with 2.9 seconds left. A last second shot by Bailey was short and the Panthers won 45-43.
“Our defense was working really well, especially in the first half,” MP coach Curt Watson said. “I thought it was the best half of basketball we played all year. We really got after it. Then toward the end, we really kept our composure. Earlier in the year we would have lost because we were not good at maintaining our composure. Sometimes we just sit in our zone, but we were moving constantly and finding the shooters.”
A balanced scoring attack by the Panthers was led by Williamson’s 10 points and Liechty’s nine. Lydia Stewart had six as did Karsyn Lamm, who buried two consecutive 3-pointers after the Demons had got the deficit down to seven. Sadie Carrasco had six points before fouling out.
Addison Six scored seven of her 15 points during the Demons’ rally. Bailey added 15 points.
“We have been looking for somebody to make shots for us all year long,” Washington coach Shannon Rugg said. “Addison got hot and that helped spread them out a little bit on defense.”
That gave some of the other Demons some confidence.
“We dug ourselves too big of a hole in the first half,” Rugg said. “We came out in the second half and competed well enough to give ourselves a chance to win a basketball game. I am extremely proud of them for that. We did not play hard in the first half. Some of that was Mt. Pleasant.”
Washington is 7-13, 2-6 SEC.
Mt. Pleasant is 6-13, 4-4 SEC and has won four of their last five games.
Keokuk and Fairfield each finished the conference slate with a 7-1 record as each won on the other’s home court. Ft. Madison finished 0-8.
Iowa Mennonite 53, Iowa Valley 45
Suzanna Yoder led Friday home 1A Region 4 win with 39 points, six assists, four steals and eight rebounds. Yani Gutierrez added nine points, two steals and seven rebounds.
IMS plays No. 5 Lynville-Sully Tuesday at Sully.
Keota 48, English Valleys 34
The Eagles won the 1A Region 5 home game Friday behind Addison Sprouse’s scoring record. Keota will host Moulton-Udell Tuesday.
Highland 58, Columbus 22
The Huskies won Saturday’s Class 2A Region 5 home game and will play at No. 13 Wilton Tuesday.
Mid-Prairie 48, Mt. Vernon 42
The Golden Hawks won Saturday’s 3A Region 5 game to advance to Wednesday’s game at No. 3 Center-Point Urbana. Story in Tuesday’s Journal.
Winfield-Mt. Union 45, WACO 35
The Warriors lost the 1A Region 5 home game after defeating the Wolves two times this season.