CRESTON — The Creston girls basketball team scored more points in the third quarter than it did in the first half here at Southwestern Community College on Monday, pulling away from Interstate 35 in the second half of a 45-32 win.
The Panthers trailed the Roadrunners 17-15 at halftime, but scored 16 points in the third quarter while holding Interstate 35 to just nine points.
“I just think we got out-played, out-coached, got out-hustled,” Interstate 35 head coach Jamie Smith said. “However many outs there are, we got that many outs. They got lose balls, we didn’t get loose balls. They got rebounds. They got baskets. We just got outed on everything.”
Creston got big plays out of Jenna Taylor, Chelcee Downing and Taylor Briley in the third quarter.
Downing scored seven of her 14 points in the quarter. She converted a layup off a steal, hit a pull-up jumper and knocked down a 3-pointer in the quarter.
Briley’s 17-footer capped off a quick 8-0 run by the Panthers that extended their lead to 29-24. Meanwhile, Taylor hit a jumper and got an offensive rebound and putback in the quarter.
Taylor scored a game-high 18 points for the Panthers to go with her nine rebounds — seven of which were offensive rebounds.
“She got some nice offensive rebounds,” Creston head coach Larry McNutt said. “We got some penetration and got her the ball around the basket. The other girls did a good job of getting her the ball.”
The Panthers outrebounded Interstate 35 by a 32-15 margin. Natalie Mostek led the Panthers with 11 rebounds.
It was an impressive feat against a Roadrunner team that features 6-1 freshman Gracey Griglione, who has recorded a pair of triple-doubles this year and averages 8.8 rebounds per game.
Fellow Interstate 35 freshman post player Riley Morris averages 8.3 rebounds per game. Morris was held to just five rebounds, while Griglione pulled down just two.
Griglione matched her season scoring output with 13 points to lead the Roadrunners, but after scoring seven of Interstate 35’s first nine points, was held to just four points in the second half. Freshman guard Slye Richardson, who averages 11.7 points per game, managed just three points.
Caylin Brommel scored six points for Interstate 35 and Taylor Roth added four.
A turning point in the game came early when Griglione got into foul trouble. She picked up her second foul at the 4:36 mark of the second quarter and got her third foul early in the third and a fourth foul early in the fourth quarter.
“She got two fouls, so she sat most of the second quarter,” Smith said. “We’re just not quite as good when she’s not in there. No bones about it. She helps us. Credit to them, they did a good job.”
“That’s what we need to do,” McNutt said. “We need to be really good defensively and be decent on offense. Then we have a chance. Especially in that second half, Taylor did a good job of getting into passing lanes. Our posts had to go outside and play on the perimeter tonight, and I thought we did a pretty good job.”
The win improved the Panthers to 6-10 for the season, while the Roadrunners drop to 11-5.
“We’ll just have to get better, or it’s going to be a long end of the season,” Smith said.
TRURO — The Roadrunners picked up a key conference win here on Friday with a 45-40 win over Bedford.
That win, coupled with Central Decatur’s 59-57 loss to Nodaway Valley, gave the Roadrunners a one-game lead in the Pride of Iowa Conference championship race.
Interstate 35 stands at 10-1 in the POI, while Central Decatur sits alone in second place at 8-2. Beford dropped into a three-way tie with Martensdale-St. Marys and Nodaway Valley at 8-3.
“It was a good home win in the conference for us,” Smith said. “Our goal is still attainable, and we’re excited about that. But, we still have tough games. We still have to go to Corning this week. We still have to go to Martensdale. Still feels nice when you control your own destiny and you don’t have to worry about someone else losing.”
Griglione scored 16 points with 12 rebounds and eight blocked shots in the win. Morris added 13 points with 12 boards, and Richardson scored 12 points. Charlie Rupp added four points with four rebounds. Brooke Brommel grabbed five boards.
“It was two evenly matched teams,” Smith said. “We found their shooter (Fallyn Beemer), got a hand up in her face a lot and made everything tough. We were in sync Friday.”