By Andy Krutsinger, Mt. Pleasant News
We?re just one month into the 2017-18 boys? basketball season and already, the Southeast Conference is starting to take shape.
This group of SEC teams has been a step above last year?s squads early on, but there still is one team that reigns supreme; The Mt. Pleasant Panthers.
Mt. Pleasant has picked up right where they left off. The two-time defending champions are off to a 3-0 start, topping Fairfield 73-44 at home, Keokuk 73-26 at home and Ft. Madison 62-38 on the road.
After Mt. Pleasant, the field gets a little more murky with three teams sitting right below the Panthers with one loss apiece in the conference. Fairfield?s 2-1 SEC start have them in second place. Ft. Madison and Washington follow with 1-1 records, and Keokuk brings up the rear, facing an 0-4 record for fifth place.
Fairfield has beaten Washington and Keokuk early on to gain some momentum heading into 2018. The Trojans used an extremely balanced scoring attack against Washington, getting four starters to double-digits and a fifth with nine points en route to a 60-51 road victory. An 18-point game from Collin Breen helped Fairfield pick up a second conference road win, 63-45 over Keokuk.
Ft. Madison?s only SEC win so far came against Keokuk. Treavor Kokjohn dropped 21 points to give the Bloodhounds the win over their county rivals. They?ve also given Mt. Pleasant the closest conference game so far.
Washington rebounded from their loss to Fairfield in the SEC opener, and took down Keokuk at home, partially due to a 17-point night from Jack Redlinger.
Mt. Pleasant?s Brady Sartorius leads the conference with 22.3 points per game in the Panthers? three SEC games. Sartorius scored 30 points against Fairfield in the SEC opener, a mark that still is the top performance of any SEC player so far this season.
Fairfield?s Carson Crile has scored 15.3 points for second place. Kaleb Cresswell of Ft. Madison and Jack Redlinger of Washington have each scored 15 points per game thus far.
In the assists category, it?s Sartorius again who leads the way. He has dished out 21 helpers in the Panthers? three games for an average of seven per contest. Washington?s Dalton Myers has 4.5 assists per game, collecting nine in the Demons? first two SEC matchups.
In rebounds, it?s Kokjohn leading the field. He has pulled down 12.5 rebounds per game in the SEC. Fairfield?s Carson Crile has 11 rebounds per game. Dre Moody of Keokuk has 8.7, and Washington?s Cale Hobscheidt has 8.5.
The conference schedule will return on Tuesday, Jan. 2., when Washington hosts Ft. Madison. Fairfield will host the Bloodhounds on Friday, Jan. 5. The first-place Panthers will open 2018 on the same night when they put their undefeated SEC record on the line against Washington.
2017-18 SEC BOYS? BASKETBALL STANDINGS
1. Mt. Pleasant 3-0
2. Fairfield 2-1
T-3. Ft. Madison 1-1
T-3. Washington 1-1
5. Keokuk 0-4