Sports

Panthers fall to Pella in season opener

Mt. Pleasant’s Tristian Shull leaps past a defender and throws up a layup during the Panthers’ season-opening loss to Pella on Tuesday night. (Andy Krutsinger/The Union)
Mt. Pleasant’s Tristian Shull leaps past a defender and throws up a layup during the Panthers’ season-opening loss to Pella on Tuesday night. (Andy Krutsinger/The Union)
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MT. PLEASANT — Mt. Pleasant’s girls basketball home opener didn’t go as planned on Tuesday night. The Panthers were done in by a visiting Pella squad, losing 57-25 on their home floor.

The Panthers struggled to contain Pella’s offense in the first quarter. Pella scored a game-high 19 point sin the opening period, and the Panthers trailed 19-7 after one.

Mt. Pleasant scored just four points in the second quarter. Tristian Shull had a pair of points in the second period and led the team with five at the half, but no other Panther had more than two and Pella held a commanding 34-11 halftime lead.

Emma Huckabone put up four early points in the third quarter to give the Panther offense a spark, but Pella still won the third quarter, outscoring the Panthers 13-11. After three quarters, Pella held a 47-22 advantage.

The Panther offense stalled in the fourth. Kenna Lamm had a couple of points and Andrea Lopreato hit one free throw, but Pella won the fourth quarter 10-3 and cruised to a 32-point victory.

“They’re just a really good, solid team,” said Mt. Pleasant head coach Curt Watson. “They only lost one senior last year, so they have everybody back, but they showed us our weaknesses that we’re going to have to work on.”

Shull led the team with eight points on the night. Lamm finished the game with six. Lopreato had five. Huckabone scored four, and Ava Lowery added two.

Mt. Pleasant is now 0-1 on the season. The Panthers were originally scheduled to play at Ottumwa on Monday, but that game has been canceled.

The Panthers will next play at Fort Madison in their Southeast Conference opener on Friday, Dec. 4. Mt. Pleasant defeated the Bloodhounds three times last year, including a 44-29 win in the regional quarterfinals.

That game is scheduled for a 7:45 p.m. start time at Fort Madison High School. Mt. Pleasant’s boys team will host the Bloodhounds at 7:30 p.m., in Mt. Pleasant.