BY CHUCK VANDENBERG
MT. PLEASANT – A 19-0 run in the 2nd quarter shut the lights on the upset-minded Fort Madison boys basketball team as Mt. Pleasant downed the Bloodhounds 61-29 Friday at Mt. Pleasant.
A low scoring first quarter, marred by cold shooting on both sides of the court, saw a combined 11 points from both teams. The two teams went 0-7 after Mt. Pleasant controlled the tip.
The Panthers’ Jordan Magnani broke the ice with 5:14 left in the quarter scoring from about 10 feet on the left with a running jumper. Keiran Kohorst converted inside on the next possession before the Hounds Treavor James-Kokjohn scored inside on an assist by Jayden Fedler. James-Kokjohn put in another basket on the next possession to tie it at 4 but that’s all Fort Madison would get in the first quarter.
Mt. Pleasant’s leading scorer, Brady Sartorius, got on the board with a 3-pointer with less than 30 seconds left and the Hounds committed two turnovers in their final possessions of the quarter to trail 4-7 at the end of one.
The second quarter was the Magnani show as he started with a bucket that Bloodhound senior Kaleb Cresswell countered with a floater from about 8 feet in the lane. Fort Madison got a stop on the next possession, but Logan Rashid was called for carrying the ball on the next trip down the floor. Jonathan Ita scored for the Panthers on the next trip and the Hounds went on a stretch for the rest of the second quarter where they committed seven turnovers and only got off four shots as Magnani scored seven straight including a 3-ball after Sartorius put the Panthers up 13-6.
Magnani’s seven stretched the lead to 20-6 and then Sartorius caught fire hitting for six points in the last two minutes to put the Panthers up 30-6 at the end of the first half.
The Panthers’ man-to-man defense kept the Hounds on the perimeter for the whole half and denied much of an inside game, but cold shooting contributed to the huge deficit as well as the Hounds went into the lockerroom.
Fort Madison was able to start getting some internal ball movement in the third period but Kohorst put up five to start the half. Sheymouhr Redd-Donald was able to score on a 3-point play to start the period when he got inside and was fouled by Magnani. Rashid then got some penetration and was fouled by Kohorst and converted two foul shots. Mt. Pleasant’s Tucker Johnson scored for Mt. Pleasant to make it 37-11, but the Hounds kept pushing Mt. Pleasant off the dribble and got three quick fouls called. They weren’t in the bonus yet, so only Redd-Donald got to the free throw line and he missed both attempts.
Sartorius hit a 3 and after a Colin Mulford bucket, Sartorius drew a foul by Cresswell on a 3-point attempt and converted all three free throws.
The Hounds went on a small 8-2 run to cut the lead to 17-47 but they were staring a 30-point deficit in the face going into the fourth quarter.
With the Panthers up 34, Sartorius and Magnani were still in the game and Mt. Pleasant was applying some light full court man pressure. Both teams each hit for 12 points in the final period and the Hounds couldn’t get anything going to cut into the lead.
The Hounds had no players in double figures with James-Kokjohn leading the way with nine points. Logan Rashid had six on the night followed by Cresswell with four, Redd-Donald with three, Brandon Keester, Romeo Maestro and Parker Denning each with two points and Michael Mosena with one.
The Hounds fall to 11-5 on the year and travel to Central Lee Saturday night for their third game of the week.