MOUNT AYR — Creston rebounded from a two-point halftime deficit to outscore host Mount Ayr 34-14 in the second half on the way to a 52-34 championship game victory in the Raiderette Tipoff Tourney Tuesday night.
After battling foul trouble in the first half and trailing 20-18 at the break, Creston bolted to a 35-25 lead in a 17-5 third quarter. Junior guard Chelcee Downing had two 3-pointers and eight points in the third-quarter flurry.
The first one stretched a 29-22 lead to 10 points at 32-22, and she followed with another for a 35-22 advantage late in the period.
After Mount Ayr closed it to seven at 37-30, senior Brianna Maitlen came up with one of her game-high six steals and was fouled in the process. Her two free throws and then a nifty fast-break pass from Natalie Mostek to Zaidy Frank racing toward the basket pushed it to 41-30 with only 4:40 to play.
“We went cold, and they hit a couple threes that were just daggers for us and came at a good time for them,” said Mount Ayr coach Thad Streit. “Creston is physical. That’s the conference they play in. It was good for us. You learn more from a loss than beating somebody bad.”
Creston coach Larry McNutt said his team couldn’t get a flow going in a foul-plagued first half. At intermission, Creston had eight fouls to Mount Ayr’s three, and two players had two fouls each.
“We played most of the second quarter without two starters (Frank and Mostek) on the court,” McNutt said. “Tonight, more than anything, needed to be about defense. Natalie does a good job on ball pressure. She’s long, and she moves well.”
McNutt said the Panthers did a better job of attacking Mount Ayr’s sagging man-to-man defense in the second half.
“Downing hit a three when it was about a three-point game and gave us a little distance,” McNutt said. “We had some shots go in at crucial times.”
Mount Ayr 6-foot post player Taylor Still, who scored 30 points the night before against Lamoni, had a team-high 21 Tuesday, but they were hard-earned points. Maitlen earned praise for her hustling defense against the taller opponent.
“Bri did a good job using her quickness,” McNutt said. “Taylor Still is a good player and Bri did a good job of fronting her. They didn’t throw the lob on us. We gave some weak side help.”
Downing was named player of the game for her 13-point effort. Maitlen had a team-high 14 points, Frank added 12 and Mostek chipped in 11 in a balanced attack. For the game, Creston was 13-of-14 at the free throw line, which helped overcome 33 percent shooting from the field.
Mount Ayr wasn’t a lot better at 35 percent, and struggled with 35 turnovers. Paige Daughton, who scored five points, received Tuesday’s player of the game plaque.
The event was part of the Coaches vs. Cancer program, and several fundraising activities raised more than $1,300 for cancer research, according to athletic director Delwyn Showalter. The Mount Ayr players and coaches wore pink in honor of cancer awareness.
Both teams face strong opponents in their next action Monday, as Mount Ayr travels to Murray and Creston faces Class 4A No. 2-ranked Winterset in the Panthers’ home opener.
MOUNT AYR (34) — Taylor Still 8 5-8 21, Paige Daughton 2 1-3 5, Hannah Fletchall 1 1-2 3, Brook Rychnovsky 1 0-0 3, Caitlin Giles 1 0-1 2. Totals — 13 7-14 34. 3-point goals — 1-3 (Rychnovsky 1). FG shooting — 13-37 (35 percent). Team fouls — 12. Fouled out — Ashton Johnson.
CRESTON (52) — Brianna Maitlen 5 4-4 3 14, Chelcee Downing 5 0-0 13, Zaidy Frank 4 4-4 12, Natalie Mostek 4 3-4 11, Sadie Jones 0 2-2 2. Totals — 18 13-14 52. 3-point goals — 3-10 (Downing 3). FG shooting — 18-54 (33 percent). Rebounds — 28 (Maitlen 8, N. Mostek 8, Frank 7.). Assists — 12 (Baker 7, N. Mostek 4). Steals — 15 (Maitlen 6, Downing 3, Jones 2). Team fouls — 17. Fouled out — None.
Mt. Ayr — 13 20 25 34
Creston — 10 18 35 52
Free throw shooting hampered Orient-Macksburg In a 39-35 defeat against Lamoni Tuesday in the consolation game.
O-M outscored the Lady Demons 30-28 from the field, but went only 5-18 at the line to Lamoni’s 11-21.
Morgan James was named O-M’s player of the game with 10 points (two 3-pointers), six assists and three steals. Gabby Jenkins helped inside Tuesday with eight points as Chrystal Patten missed with an ACL knee injury suffered Monday night. Her status is undetermined until a physician’s exam on Friday.
Shyla Waldhauser added nine points and four rebounds Tuesday.
“The game was back and forth right up to the end,” coach Kelli Goodale said. “Our girls showed some potential tonight, which I hope to see continually improve as we get farther into our season.”
Orient-Macksburg (35) — Morgan James 10, Shyla Waldhauser 9, Gabby Jenkins 8, Shannon Eads 6, Jasmine Ruckman 2. 3-point goals — James 2. Free throws — 5-18. Rebounds — Jenkins 8, Eads 7. Steals — James 3, Ruckman 2. Assists — James 6, Ruckman 5. Team fouls — 15. Halftime score — Lamoni 18, O-M 17.
Lamoni (39) — Kyra Stevenson 14, Brittany Larsen 9, Laura Jaeger 6, Sidnee Smith 5, Cassadie Cox 3, Bailey Bjorland 1, Leegan Rowland 1. 3-point goals — None. Free throws — 11-21. Team fouls — 15.
Caitlin McIlravy and Alli Thomsen each scored 12 points to lead Creston to a 38-17 victory over Mount Ayr in the Raiderette Tipoff Tourney Tuesday night.
Camryn Somers had six points, five rebounds and three steals for the Panthers in their opener, while Jenna Taylor added four points and a team-high eight rebounds.
“This was a good game for us to see where we were at as a team,” said coach Mallory Peterson. “Our post players did a great job down low. We have to work on getting the ball inside to them when it’s there. When we got settled, we started moving the ball well and getting good, open looks. Overall, this was a good win for our first game out.”
Creston (38) — Caitlin McIlravy 12, Alli Thomsen 12, Camryn Somers 6, Jenna Taylor 4, Sydney Dunphy 2, Becca Ross 2. 3-point goals — None. Free throws — 4-7. Rebounds — 17 (Taylor 8, Somers 5, Dunphy 3). Steals — 8 (Somers 3, Thomsen 3). Team fouls — 12.
Mount Ayr (17) — Scoring not available.