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MANCHESTER – Mount Vernon knew it was up against a formidable foe.
Fourth-ranked Crestwood entered the Class 3A girls’ basketball regional final with just one loss, and was second in the entire state in both field goal and three-point shooting percentage.
Saturday night at West Delaware High School, the Cadets made their first four shots, never trailed, and advanced to the state tournament by eliminating No. 10 Mount Vernon, 52-36.
“They came out firing,” Mount Vernon senior post Kaitlyn Volesky said. “They just made every shot they threw up. We tried to play good defense, but everything seemed to be falling for them.”
With the loss, the Mustangs (17-7) fell short of a third-straight trip to the state tournament. Volesky — who is focused on basketball over volleyball as she decides on a college destination — led Mount Vernon with 13 points and 13 rebounds, but the Mustangs converted just four of their 3-point attempts.
“We needed to drop some shots,” Mount Vernon Coach Dennis Roloff said. “The threes were open and we didn’t hit them. We kept coming up short or long and we needed to take some pressure off of Kaitlyn inside. We just needed a couple of threes to drop. That would have helped us keep the game close and anything can happen.”
Crestwood junior Shannon Pisney, who entered the game ranked seventh in Class 3A in scoring with over 17 points per contest, was spectacular. Pisney accounted for a game-high 29 points and 17 rebounds and delivered the Cadets to the state tournament for the third time in four years.
“My teammates were just getting me the ball whenever I was open,” Pisney said. “Kudos to them.”
The Crestwood streak would likely be four years had Pisney not missed 18 games last season with an ACL tear in her left knee.
Crestwood opens the state tournament with a 3A quarterfinal against No. 5 Cherokee (20-3) Tuesday, Feb. 28 at 1:30 p.m. at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines.
“Hard work pays off, definitely I’d say,” Pisney said. “It’s great to be back and it just means a lot.”
Junior Ellie Friesen added 14 points and nine rebounds for Crestwood, which led by double figures after each quarter and by as many as 19 points.
Mount Vernon junior Kristen Elliott chipped in 10 points, while senior Libby Ryan — a Drake softball signee — collected four points, four rebounds and two assists. A Ryan steal and layup briefly pulled the Mustangs with six points at 23-17 in the second quarter, but five straight points from Pisney pushed the Crestwood advantage back to 28-17 at halftime.
MOUNT VERNON (36): Hayley Corkin 0 0-0 0, Libby Ryan 2 0-0 4, Sydney Hauser 1 0-0 2, Kristen Elliott 3 2-4 10, Kaitlyn Volesky 5 3-3 13, Ella Brase 1 0-0 3, Annie Rhomberg 0 1-2 1, Haley Baker 1 0-0 3, Samantha Moss 0 0-0 0, Ella Norton 0 0-0 0, Totals 13 6-9 36.
CRESTWOOD (52): Emily Friesen 1 0-0 3, Shannon Pisney 11 6-8 29, Brynn Boderman 0 2-2 2, Ellie Friesen 5 3-4 14, Tracy Martinek 0 0-0 0, Sharon Goodman 2 0-0 4, Totals 19 11-14 53.
Halftime — Crestwood 28-17. Three-point goals — Mount Vernon 4 (Elliott 2, Brase, Baker), Crestwood 3 (Em. Friesen, Pisney, El. Friesen).
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