Panther girls come up short at Shenandoah

SHENANDOAH — The Creston girls basketball team kept things close with Shenandoah all the way until the end of the game here Friday, but could never take the lead in a 57-51 loss.

The Fillies, now 14-3 overall and second place in the Hawkeye 10 Conference at 6-2, dropped out of the latest state rankings after previously being ranked 15th.

The Panthers, now 7-11 overall and 2-7 in the Hawkeye 10, trailed by as many as six several times in the second half, but fought back each time.

Creston cut the lead to one and even tied the game on several occasions, but could never push in front.

“It was one of those games, you felt like if we could ever get ahead in the fourth quarter we could pull it out,” head coach Larry McNutt said. “But we just could never quite get ahead.”

Part of the reason the Panthers were in the game was the strong play of junior Natalie Mostek on both ends of the floor.

Mostek drew the assignment of defending all-state post player Serena Parker, who averages 17.8 points per game. Mostek held Parker to just five points on one made field goal in the game.

Offensively, Mostek led the way for the Panthers scoring a game-high 18 points and grabbing seven rebounds.

“She played well on both ends of the court,” McNutt said. “She did a good job on Parker to hold her to one field goal. We were playing box and one, and she fronted and we helped her.”

With Mostek keeping the Panthers in the game on the offensive end, Shenandoah switched to a box-and-one defense on her in the second half.

That enabled sophomore Camryn Somers to get some open looks from the high post position, and she scored 12 points — all in the second half.

“We go the ball to Camryn at the high post for open shots, so she did a good job there,” McNutt said. “She didn’t hit anything the first half. More importantly, they had to get out of that defense, because we were scoring.”

But, foul trouble with Somers and with Jenna Taylor down the stretch hampered Creston. Both players eventually fouled out of the game, as Shenandoah stretched the lead late while the Panthers attempted to extend the game.

The Panthers next host Glenwood on Tuesday in a preview of their first round matchup in regional play. The Rams won the first contest, 58-35.

SHENANDOAH (57) — Sydney Nielsen 5 4-6 17, Logan Ehlers 3 4-5 10, Abby Wiegel 3 0-0 8, McKaya O’Neil 3 1-2 8, Jaime Runyon 3 0-0 7, Serena Parker 1 3-4 5, Kaylee Birt 0 2-4 2. Totals — 18 14-21 57. FG shooting — 18-47 (38.2 percent). 3-point goals — 7-19 (Nielsen 3, Wiegel 2, O’Neil 1, Runyon 1). Steals — 7. Rebounds — 32. Turnovers — 8. Team fouls — 12. Fouled out — none.

CRESTON (51) — Natalie Mostek 8 1-2 18, Camryn Somers 5 2-2 12, Jenna Taylor 3 2-2 8, Taylor Briley 1 5-8 7, Olivia Nielsen 1 2-2 4, Chelcee Downing 1 0-0 2. Totals — 19 12-16 51. FG shooting — 19-57 (33 percent). 3-point goals — 1-7 (Mostek 1). Rebounds — 33 (Taylor 8, Mostek 7, Nielsen 6, Somers 5, Briley 4).  Assists — 17 (Briley 6, Downing 6, Somers 3). Steals — 4 (Briley 2). Turnovers — 9. Team fouls — 17. Fouled out — Somers, Taylor.