Girls’ Basketball: Panthers Meet Nikes Tonight in Non-Conference Litmus Test

By: Nathan Bloechl — 

KILJ — After one big win over Super Conference power (70-44) Mediapolis on Saturday, the Mount Pleasant girls basketball team (9-8) will aim for another this evening against admittedly a much tougher foe.

The Panthers will welcome in the No. 11 (1A) Burlington-Notre Dame Nikes (13-1) for a non-conference affair.

Notre Dame, winners of 12 straight, will provide a strong litmus test for Curt Watson’s group with three games remaining before the Panthers embark on their postseason push.

For Mount Pleasant, the discussion starts with sophomore forward Andrea Lopreato, who is probably neck and neck with Keokuk’s Abby Wolter for the Southeast Conference Player of the Year.

Lopreato led the Panthers with a monster double-double Saturday against Mediapolis, pouring in 22 points to go along with 13 boards.

She will undoubtedly be a tough cover for a Nike frontcourt that has not yet seen a player of her caliber.

Kenna Lamm, who is coming off her best game of the year against Mediapolis (18 points, six rebounds, seven steals) will play a pivotal role in slowing down the Nikes terrific big three of Karli Artman, Katy Stephens and Megan Harrell.

Harrell, a junior, is the team’s leader in points per game averaging just south of 16 a night. Artman checks in at 13.8 points per game, while Stephens is right at 11 points a night.

This is just the fourth meeting between the programs in the last five years, with the Panthers taking two of the last three.

Notre Dame did however, get the best of the Panthers one year ago, a 60-35 decision at Father Minnett Gymnasium in Burlington.

Tonight’s game, played at Mount Pleasant High School, will tip at 7:30 p.m.

Pregame coverage will begin at 7:15 p.m. with the Panther Tip-Off Show.

You can listen along on KILJ-FM 105.5 or online here.