Panthers turn over road win opportunity
ATLANTIC — Atlantic outscored Creston 33-16 in the second half to overtake the visiting Panthers Tuesday night, 55-46.
With the game counting in the Hawkeye 10 standings, Atlantic notched its first victory at 1-4, while improving to 3-10 overall. Creston falls to 1-6 and 3-10.
It’s a win that got away from the Panthers, hoping for a two-game victory streak after beating Clarinda at home Friday.
It was shaping up that way throughout the first half. Natalie Mostek scored 12 of her 14 points in the opening two periods as the Panthers opened up a 30-22 lead, after being in front 19-12 through one quarter.
That was a good offensive showing for a team averaging 38 points a game.
“They were playing man (defense) and we came out and ran our sets and got some good shots to fall,” said Creston coach Larry McNutt. “Natalie drove to the basket and got some real good looks. In the second quarter they went to zone, but we still scored 11 points.”
Then came the avalanche of turnovers. After Mostek scored her only bucket of the second half to put the Panthers up 32-22, a flurry of miscues with the ball triggered a 10-1 run. Mackenzie Holmes scored eight points in the quarter for Atlantic, which inched in front, 38-37, at the end of the quarter.
In the fourth quarter Creston went scoreless until Brenna Baker’s basket with 2:44 left. By then, Atlantic was in front 48-39 and in command of the game. Shelby Worth scored the first eight points of the quarter for Atlantic to quickly get the lead to nine and 10 points.
“We literally turned and threw them the ball in the third quarter,” McNutt said. “Too many silly turnovers. Nobody got very many shots off in the second half.”
Chelcee Downing’s 3-pointer cut it to 49-42 with 1:48 left, but the Trojanns were able to convert enough opportunities at the free throw line to maintain their lead and complete the season sweep of the Panthers.
Holmes finished with 19 points for Atlantic. Worth had 12, including a pair of 3-pointers. Zaidy Frank had 15 points to lead Creston, while Mostek finished with 14.
Creston hosts Carroll Kuemper Catholic at 6 p.m. Friday in the opener of a varsity doubleheader. The Panthers came close at Kuemper in early December, falling 48-46.
ATLANTIC (55) — Mackenzie Holmes 19, Shelby Worth 12, Liz Guttenfelder 11, Meghan Reilly 6, ReAnn Cappel 4, Erin Olsen 2, Tiffany Williams 1. Totals — 15 21-30 55. 3-point goals — 2 (Worth 2). Team fouls — 16. Fouled out — none.
CRESTON (46) — Zaidy Frank 15, Natalie Mostek 14, Chelcee Downing 8, Brianna Maitlen 3, Emma Johnson 2. Totals — 18 8-14 46. 3-point goals — 2 (Downing 2). Rebounds — Maitlen 5. Turnovers — 23. Team fouls — 24. Fouled out — Maitlen, Baker.
Atlantic — 12 22 38 55
Creston — 19 30 37 46
Creston’s lone victory of the night was at the junior varsity level, taking a close 35-31 battle.
Creston trailed 21-14 at halftime and then got ahead by two entering the fourth quarter.
“Olivia Nielsen had a great game inside for us as she led the team with 14 points and eight rebounds,” coach Mendy McCreight said. “The girls did a good job of taking care of the ball against the press in the second half.”
Creston (35) — Olivia Nielsen 14, Maria Mostek 4, Camryn Somers 4, Caitlin McIlravy 4, Alli Thomsen 3, Jenna Taylor 3, Taylor Briley 2, Brooke Thelen 1. 3-point goals — None. Free throws — 11-23. Rebounds — 22 (Nielsen 8, Taylor 3). Steals — 9 (Mostek 3, Briley 2). Assists — 6 (Mostek 2, Briley 2). Team fouls — 11. Halftime score — Atlantic 21, Creston 14.
Atlantic nipped the Creston freshmen, 49-48. Taylor Briley and Jenna Taylor led Creston with 10 points each.
“We got down big in the first quarter, 18-6, and couldn’t quite get ourselves dug out of the hole,” said Creston coach Mallory Peterson.
Second-chance points and conversions off Creston turnovers keyed the Trojanns’ victory.
“Our defensive communication was lacking and we gave up too many easy shots off ball screens as a result,” Peterson said.
Creston (48) — Taylor Briley 10, Jenna Taylor 10, Camryn Somers 8, Caitlin McIlravy 7, Alli Thomsen 7, Gracie Russell 6. Rebounds — McIlravy 6, Thomsen 6, Briley 4. Steals — Briley 5. Assists — Briley 4.