At the conclusion of Saturday's Class 1 District 16 girls championship game, Nodaway-Holt head coach David Carroll was nearly at a loss for words.
He and probably many of the other patrons that crammed into Nodaway-Holt's gymnasium had a hard time comprehending the extent to which the host Lady Trojans just got beat.
In what was thought to be an even game between the two co-champions of the 275 Conference, top-seeded Mound City dominated from start to finish in a 65-35 dismantling of second-seeded Nodaway-Holt.
It was the Trojans' second consecutive district title game defeat of 30 points or more.
This one came totally by surprise and sends the Lady Trojans, who had won nine straight, into the off-season a bit shell-shocked. Winners of 11 straight, Mound City (23-4) advanced to play Mercer in sectionals Tuesday night at Bearcat Arena.
"It hurts playing here and everything," said Carroll. "It hurts getting beat that bad. They were ready and we just couldn't ever get anything going."
Nodaway-Holt (21-7) split two regular season meetings with Mound City, losing by 11 points in late November and winning by one during conference play at home.
Yet the third and final encounter was never in doubt.
Mound City scored the first seven points in 1:50 and led by double-digits from the opening minutes of the second quarter on. The Panthers extended a 16-point halftime lead to 30 by the start of the fourth, setting in motion a running clock that held over the last 3:28.
The 30-point margin of victory trumped both of Mound City's previous district wins over eighth-seeded West Nodaway and fifth-seeded South Holt.
"Never in my wildest dreams did I think there would be a running clock," said Mound City first-year head coach Derek Petty. "It just happened to be our night offensively and defensively as well."
Mound City scored 38 first half points and 56 through the first three quarters, limiting the high-powered Trojans to 26 during that same span.
Nodaway-Holt stayed in a 2-3 zone most of the game, and slow rotations, allowed constant open looks to Mound City's shooters.
The Panthers connected on six three-pointers, including four by Haylee Clifton.
"We weren't getting out there," said Carroll. "We talked about what they were going to do and just didn't move quick enough."
The Trojans also yielded a bevy of offensive rebounds to the Panthers who finished with 20 second chance points.
Emily Wedlock (eight points) and Alex Phillips were the two most active Panthers on the glass.
Phillips led all scorers in the game with 24 points. She had 10 in the first quarter and 15 in the opening half.
Talented freshman point guard Kendey Eaton netted 14 points and was 5-6 at the foul line. Clifton finished with 13.
Page 2 of 2 - Playing with her injured left shoulder wrapped, Nodaway-Holt junior guard Megan Rosenbohm led the Trojans with 19 points and made seven of their 11 field goals.
All of Nodaway-Holt's other players struggled to get established and finished with five points or less.
"We were playing as hard as we could on Rosenbohm," said Petty. "She's a great player and other players when they're open, usually hit their shots. Luckily, they weren't shooting real well tonight and that was in our favor."
Mound City came out on fire from the perimeter, hitting four of its first five shots and a pair of three's to jump ahead 10-2. The Panthers went up as many 13 on an Eaton bank shot and finished the quarter ahead 21-12.
Mound City got off 20 shots in the first quarter quarter compared to six for the Lady Trojans who turned it over seven times.
"We had an offense that we put in just for them and we hadn't run it hardly all year," said Petty. "We had confidence in it and we came out and hit our shots. We got up on them and that's what we wanted to do."
Mound City began the second quarter on a 9-0 run that included five points from Phillips to lead 30-12.
The Panthers restored an 18-point lead later in the quarter on consecutive Wedlock putbacks.
Two free throws by Krysta Beattie made it 38-22. The Trojans missed several opportunities over the final 1:49 of the quarter to get closer at the half.
They were only 2-13 from the field in the second quarter but made all four free throw attempts.
"I thought if we could maybe hold it to 10 at halftime (we'd be okay)," said Carroll. "We were down by 16, but I still felt alright if we came out and hit in the second half. In year's past, we've come back and won a lot of games."
This time, a second half comeback never materialized.
Mound City put the game out of reach in the third quarter with a 16-2 run that included three consecutive Clifton three's.
The Panthers took a 30-point lead into the fourth, and the closest Nodaway-Holt came to them was 25.
Nodaway-Holt graduates Beattie and Amanda O'Riley, both multi-year starters, along with reserve Brittany Shipps.
A soon-to-be three-time all-state guard, Rosenbohm leads a pack of returners that also includes Bailee Lance, Darcie Gallagher and Kalli Devers.