MONROE — PCM’s girls’ basketball team needed an offensive outburst to build some confidence.
The Mustangs’ confidence should be high after a 71-point outburst against Grand View Christian on Jan. 7.
A balanced attacked on offense and a stingy defense helped PCM blast the Thunder 71-29 in a non-conference affair.
“It’s good to build some confidence just to understand that they are capable of putting the ball into the basket,” PCM coach Jeff Lindsay said. “Now we have to translate it into tougher situations.”
Eleven Mustangs scored in the game. Junior Regan Freland and sophomores Lilli Baird and Celeste Wagaman each reached double-figures, and PCM tallied 18 steals and grabbed 21 offensive rebounds in the rout.
“Rebounding is not always about how high you can jump, but how active are you getting in good position,” Lindsay said. “I thought tonight we weren’t standing and tracking the ball. We moved to get ourselves in better position. That’s something we needed to get better at. Hopefully we can carry it over to our next games.”
Freland put in 15 points, collected three rebounds and had four steals to lead the Mustangs.
Wagaman put in 13 points off the bench and Baird scored 12 points, grabbed six boards and had three steals.
Senior Camryn Wignall also put in eight points and seven other players scored at least two points.
The Mustangs had 14 assists.
“The balance is nice. It helps them believe they can do this. The work that has been put in can be realized,” Lindsay said. “We also were recognizing our teammates tonight. There was a lot of good passes. We had good opportunities inside and outside and we kept our eyes up and located our options.”
PCM (5-6) scored the game’s first nine points — from three different players — and led 15-5 after one quarter.
Wignall scored the first four points of the second frame and her final bucket of the game made it 29-14 at halftime.
Freland scored nine of her 15 points in second half. She scored the first five points of the third to push the Mustangs’ lead to 20. PCM led 47-21 after three quarters, and gave way to her teammates most of the fourth quarter.
PCM outscored Grand View Christian (1-11) 18-7 in the third and 24-8 in the fourth.
Wagaman scored 11 of her 13 points in the fourth quarter. She opened the period with a 3-pointer and then added two buckets inside and a pair of jumpers from outside.
PCM buried three of its six 3-pointers in the final frame. Freshmen Delaney Baird and Chelsea Bird connected on back-to-back shots from long range late in the quarter to give PCM a 40-point lead.
The Mustangs used full-court pressure throughout most of the contest. It is something Lindsay says his team will use throughout the rest of the season.
“That was something we don’t shy away from. That’s something that we are just going to do,” Lindsay said. “We got some easy points off it, but we are still polishing it. We are moving in the right direction. We have good athletes, and I have to utilize them and get the best out of them.
Thunder sophomore Sydney Lane scored a game-high 18 points in the loss. The Mustangs used several different defenders on Lane throughout the game. She did most of her damage from outside.
“She made some nice shots and some tough shots,” Lindsay said. “We lost her a few times, and she made us pay. She’s a good ball player. We can’t turn in a circle. You have to move your feet and stay in good position.”
The Mustangs had 18 steals in the win. Freland’s four led the way and Lilli Baird, Wignall and sophomore Emma George all had three steals.
George also had four rebounds, junior Sierra Foster chipped in four rebounds and five assists, junior Kate McCarthy pulled down seven boards and seniors Mack Bussan and Morgan DeHaai each had five rebounds. Wignall grabbed four boards.
PCM played at Fairfield on Jan. 8. The Mustangs host North Polk at 6 p.m. on Jan. 11 in Monroe. They also play Pella at 6 p.m. on Jan. 12 in Pella.
PCM 47, South Hamilton 34
JEWELL — A strong defensive effort and a big night from Freland led the PCM girls’ basketball team to a 47-34 win over South Hamilton on Jan. 4 during Heart of Iowa Conference action.
Freland scored 25 points, grabbed four rebounds, had four steals, dished out two assists and blocked two shots in the Mustangs’ win. The victory snapped a two-game losing streak.
“We slowed them down and got steals off the press,” Lindsay said. “We got a lot of tipped passes and made passing lanes difficult. Our half-court defense was good, too. We had lots of intensity and we rebounded the ball well.”
Wignall had four points, five rebounds, four assists and one block for PCM, which improved to 3-4 in conference play.
Foster had five points, while George added three points and four rebounds and McCarthy chipped in two points, four rebounds and one block. Eight players scored in all for PCM.
Freland hit five 3-pointers in the game. PCM hit seven treys in the game and turned it over three times.
“We know Regan is capable of that kind of night,” Lindsay said. “When she’s feeling it, she can put up big numbers.”
South Hamilton (3-9 overall, 2-5 in conference play) has now lost five straight games and eight of its last nine.