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First-half run powers Panthers past Clarinda

Published: Friday, Feb. 14, 2014 2:07 a.m. CDT • Updated: Friday, Feb. 14, 2014 2:14 a.m. CDT
Caption
(CNA photo by SCOTT VICKER)
Creston senior Chelcee Downing looks to dribble around Clarinda defender Paige Fast during the second half of Creston's 61-48 win. Downing finished with 13 points on senior night for the Panthers.
Caption
(CNA photo by SCOTT VICKER)
Creston junior Natalie Mostek uses a drop step after posting up Clarinda's Jenny Bair during the first half of Creston's 61-48 win over the Cardinals. Mostek finished with 14 points in the win.

Trailing 17-12 in the first quarter, the Creston girls basketball team scored 17 unanswered points to build a cushion on Clarinda in a 61-48 win here on Thursday on senior night.

Camryn Somers got things going with an offensive rebound and putback and then Natalie Mostek hit one of two free throws. The first quarter ended with senior Chelcee Downing hitting a 3-pointer to give Creston an 18-17 lead.

The Panthers then scored the first nine points of the second quarter, as Downing knocked down another 3-pointer and two free throws. Jenna Taylor added a basket and a pair of free throws.

Clarinda finally ended the run with a Jenny Bair 3-pointer and a Kayla Rogers hook shot to cut the lead to 29-22.

But the Panthers once again responded, as Somers hit a pair of jump shots and Downing knocked down another 3-pointer to send Creston into the halftime break leading 36-22.

“The biggest thing that (the run) did was it took them out of their pressing,” Creston head coach Larry McNutt said. “We got stop after stop and they couldn’t press. Down there, we lost the game because we didn’t handle the press very well in the second half. I knew that was going to be a challenge here tonight. When you can’t score, you can’t press.”

On the first possession of the second half, Taylor caught the inbounds pass, turned and knocked down a 3-pointer to give the Panthers a 39-22 lead.

“Second quarter we built a 14-point lead at half and then come out and hit a shot to start the third to get up 17,” McNutt said. “Then we kind of let it dwindle down a little bit there in the fourth quarter, but we did a good job of battling.”

Clarinda cut the lead to eight points by the end of the third quarter at 45-37 and then cut the lead to six points at three different points of the fourth quarter.

But the Cardinals were never able to pull any closer than six points, as the Panthers hit enough free throws down the stretch to hold them at bay.

“We only missed two free throws the second half,” McNutt said. “When they’re behind, they’re going to have to foul and the girls did a good job of making them. I just thought we did a pretty good job.”

One of the keys to the Creston victory was strong rebounding. McNutt said offensive rebounding kept the Panthers in the game early and they were able to limit Clarinda’s second chances at the other end.

“Early, we got three or four different putbacks by several girls,” he said. “That was good to see. I thought defensive rebounding was pretty good tonight. Down there, they really hurt us on offensive rebounding, so that was an emphasis coming in.”

Thursday’s game marked the final home appearance for three Panther seniors. Downing, Olivia Nielsen and Sadie Jones comprised the senior class on this year’s Panther squad.

“Great kids,” McNutt said. “I told them before the game, we need to do this for the seniors. For them, the past two years, this is the most we’ve won. They wanted to have a successful senior season, so I’m happy for them.”

The win ends Creston’s regular season with a mark of 9-12. The Panthers return to action 7 p.m. Wednesday at Glenwood against the Rams in the Class 4A Region 8 opener.

“Clarinda just beat them by 15 a few weeks ago, so if we play well, we’ll have a chance,” McNutt said. “We’re playing well and offensively we’re playing so much better than we have the past couple of years. If we can go to Glenwood, hit a couple shots and play some defense, I really think we’ve got a shot at them.”

CLARINDA (48) — Jadra Moses 6 0-2 13, Jenny Blair 4 1-2 10, Abby Brown 3 2-4 8, Paige Fast 2 0-0 5, Kayla Rogers 2 1-2 5, Baillee Warren 2 0-0 4, Klarissa McElroy 1 0-0 3. Totals — 20 4-10 48. FG shooting — 20-56 (35.7 percent). 3-point goals — 4-15 (Fast 1, Moses 1, Blair 1, McElroy 1). Steals — 9. Rebounds — 21. Turnovers — 9. Team fouls — 22. Fouled out — none.

CRESTON (61) — Jenna Taylor 7 3-3 18, Natalie Mostek 4 6-7 14, Chelcee Downing 3 4-5 13, Camryn Somers 4 0-0 8, Taylor Briley 1 5-8 7, Olivia Nielsen 0 1-4 1. Totals — 19 19-27 61. FG shooting — 19-51 (37.2 percent). 3-point goals — 4-11 (Downing 3, Taylor 1). Rebounds — 43 (Mostek 15, Taylor 10, Briley 5, Somers 5, Downing 4, Nielsen 2).  Assists — 13 (Downing 4, Briley 3, Somers 2, Mostek 2). Steals — 8 (Briley 4, Somers 2). Blocked shots — 2 (Briley 1, Taylor 1). Turnovers — 16. Team fouls — 11. Fouled out — Taylor.

Clarinda — 17 22 37 48

Creston — 18 36 45 61

JUNIOR VARSITY

The Creston JV team finished its season with a mark of 12-9 thanks to a 47-39 win over Clarinda.

Sadie Jones scored 15 points and Caitlin McIlravy added 11 in the win.

Creston (47) — Sadie Jones 15, Caitlin McIlravy 11, Maria Mostek 9, Cammy Rutherford 8, Lexie Little 4. 3-point goals — Mostek 1. Free throws — 20-38. Rebounds — 24 (Mostek 6, Jessica Beatty 5, Jones 4, McIlravy 4, Rutherford 3, Becca Ross 2). Steals — 7 (Beatty 2). Assists — 7(Mostek 4, McIlravy 2). Team fouls — 14.

Clarinda (39)

FRESHMEN

The Creston freshmen finished the season 7-3 with a 29-11 win over Clarinda on Thursday.

“We had two great wins over Clarinda to finish the season,” Creston freshman and JV coach Mendy McCreight said about her two teams. “I was very pleased with how the girls played and the effort and improvement they have accomplished from the beginning of the season to the end of the season.”

Creston (29) — Madison Callahan 14, Cammy Rutherford 10, Lexie Little 3, Becca Ross 2. 3-point goals — None. Free throws — 7-11. Rebounds — 22 (Callahan 7, Rutherford 5, Rachel Shepherd 5, Logan Pettit 3, Little 2). Steals — 12 (Rutherford 5, Little 2, Shepherd 2, Callahan 2). Assists — 8 (Shepherd 2). Team fouls — 15.

Clarinda (11)

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