TAMA — The Prairie City-Monroe girls’ basketball team couldn’t overcome foul trouble by its best player on Saturday night.
Sophomore Regan Freland picked up three fouls in the first quarter and her absence in the second frame hindered the Mustangs during a 45-34 road loss to South Tama County in the quarterfinals of the Class 3A Region 7 tournament.
Freland returned to the game with enough time to set the school record for points in a season. Her 11 points gave her 420 on the season. That’s one point better than the program’s previous best mark.
“Not having her out there certainly didn’t help,” PCM coach Jeff Lindsay said. “We can’t do anything about the foul calls. I thought two of them were pretty questionable. It was tough not having her out there.”
South Tama led 11-8 after one quarter but outscored the Mustangs 10-3 without Freland in the second quarter.
Junior Camryn Wignall scored the only points of the second frame for PCM, nailing a 3-pointer with about minute to go until halftime.
“We needed others to step up,” Lindsay said. “We had opportunities, but it didn’t work out for us.”
Wignall scored nine of PCM’s 11 first-half points. She finished with a team-high 14 points and added seven rebounds and two steals in the loss.
Freland had all eight of PCM’s assists and swiped five steals. Junior Morgan Uhlenhopp and sophomore Sierra Foster each grabbed five rebounds.
PCM nearly played even with South Tama in the second half, but the first half was too much to overcome. The Mustangs trailed by 10 at the break and lost by 11.
“We hit a drought in the second quarter, and that was the story of the game,” Lindsay said. “We were fortunate to only be down 10 at halftime.”
Lindsay was happy with his team’s effort on defense. The Mustangs scored 34 points against South Tama two weeks ago but surrendered 59 points in the loss. PCM trimmed 14 points off the Trojans’ final score Saturday, but the offense never got anything going outside of Wignall and Freland.
The only player who scored in double-figures for South Tama was all-state junior Jessica Musgrave, who finished with 24 points, 11 steals and nine rebounds. South Tama had 19 steals in the game.
“I thought we had a good plan defensively, but when you can’t score it makes things tough,” Lindsay said.
The Trojans (13-9) move on to play sixth-ranked Roland-Story (20-2) on Wednesday. PCM caps its season at 7-15.
The Mustangs welcome back their entire roster next season. Lindsay is already excited for 2018-19.
“Seeing where this team started from and progressed to has me excited for the future,” Lindsay said. “You can see their talents and abilities, but we need to put in a lot of work this offseason. We all have to be committed to getting better, myself included.”