Oskaloosa.com

December 20, 2012

Panthers’ pressure too much for Indians to overcome

By JIM GRIES
Herald sports editor

MOUNT PLEASANT — Mount Pleasant put the pressure on Oskaloosa from the very beginning, forcing the Indians into six turnovers in their first nine possessions, as the Panthers scored the 50-47 non-conference victory Tuesday night.

The Indians (6-2) had their only lead of the night 90 seconds into the contest on a 3-pointer by Kena Veldhuizen, only to see a basket by Mount Pleasant’s Kelsi Phipps with 5:03 left in the first quarter to put the 5-3 Panthers up for good at 7-5.

Oskaloosa went 5:21 without a basket before Veldhuizen, who had all seven of the Indians’ points in the period, collected a basket with 3.3 seconds left to pull the Indians to 11-7.

“The first quarter wasn’t real good for us,” Oskaloosa coach Steve Kaisand said. “We were right there at 11-7, but we weren’t playing our basketball by any means. We didn’t do a very good job running offensively early on. The score wasn’t out of hand, but we weren’t boxing out defensively. Everything they got came on second-chance opportunities.”

Mount Pleasant took a 10-point lead at 17-7 on 3-pointers from Natalie Myers and Ita and it looked like the Panthers were gaining control of the game.

But Oskaloosa clawed its way back by going on a 12-5 run to close out the half to trail 22-19.

That would be as close as the Indians would get as the Panthers got the upper hand early in the third to take a 33-21 advantage.

Ita and Myers hit on 3-pointers then Phipps added another basket for an 11-point cushion at 30-19.

Taylor Crawford got Oskaloosa’s first points of the third quarter at the 4:41 mark before three Mount Pleasant free throws at the 3:35 mark made it an 11-point game again.

Kaisand was arguing a call with an official and was whistled for a technical foul. Taryne Shull made 1 of 2 free throws before converting both of the technical foul shots to give the Panthers a 12-point edge at 33-21, their biggest lead of the game.

But Oskaloosa didn’t let the deficit get it down as it employed a press of its own to get back in the game.

Back-to-back steals by Veldhuizen led to four of her game-high 29 points, then she hit all three of her foul shots after getting fouled on a 3-point attempt. A Crawford free throw got the Indians to 35-31 going to the final quarter.

Oskaloosa managed to get to within 44-43 with 1:35 left on a free throw by Veldhuizen, but six free throws by Mount Pleasant secured the win although Veldhuizen’s desperation 3-point try at the buzzer hit the backboard, but failed to go in.

The Indians are scheduled to go to Williamsburg Thursday to close the pre-Christmas portion of the schedule.

Mount Pleasant 50, Oskaloosa 47

O    7    12    12    16    —    47

MP    11    11    13    15    —    50

OSKALOOSA (47) — Taylor Richardson 1 0-0 2, Kena Veldhuizen 10 6-8 29, Allie Christenson 1 0-0 2, Taylor Crawford 6 1-1 13, Kate Hasselman 0 1-3 1, Sarandyn Curtis 0 0-0 0, Chace Moyer 0 0-0 0. Totals 18  8-12  47.

3-point goals — 3 (Veldhuizen 3). Rebounds — 32 (Veldhuizen 10, Crawford 8, Hasselman 5, Moyer 3, Richardson 2, Curtis 2, Christenson 2). Steals — 17 (Veldhuizen 6, Richardson 5, Christenson 3, Curtis 1, Crawford 1, Hasselman 1). Blocks — 10 (Crawford 4, Hasselman 2, Veldhuizen 1, Curtis 1, Christenson 1, Moyer 1). Total fouls — 17. Turnovers — 18.

MOUNT PLEASANT (50) — Taryne Shull 0 4-6 4, Kelsi Phipps 4 3-5 11, Leslie Taylor 0 1-2 1, Natalie Myers 2 2-2 8, Natalie Ita 4 2-4 13, Mary Wester 6 0-2 12, Hannah Becker 0 1-2 1. Totals 16 13-23 50.

3-point goals — 5 (Ita 3, Myers 2). Total fouls — 14. Turnovers — 21.