Fourth Quarter Surge Captures Panther Victory
J. C. Tilton
Ah, but which Panther team? This past Saturday the Lady Panthers from North and South met. Although both teams are struggling this year, the teams battled neck and neck for bragging rights. There were several lead changes. One team was finally able to get fourth quarter momentum and pull away for the win.
Defensively both teams played mainly a half court zone defense in the first quarter, although North mixed in some man to man. The press was also used by both squads, on an off during the game. South got some early momentum, but North stayed on their heels. Jennifer Bambeck had a good opening quarter for South, scoring 6 of their 11 points. Kim Deleranko connected from the field and hit three foul shots. For North Lauren Whitaker and Lauren Perry split scoring.
South fell behind early in the second but went back to work, regaining the lead and pushing out ahead. North switched into a man to man defense. But the South defense was stingy after allowing the initial basket, they only allowed North to shoot foul shots for the remainder of the quarter. Sara Whitaker and Rachel Heindl hit their free throws, but North fell behind as South got some late quarter scoring to pull ahead. Dani Lipps hit 2 shots from the field and Kate Ervin hit a free throw in the last two and a half minutes to give South a decent 24-16 lead going into the locker room.
The third quarter was a defensive struggle, but North's strategy on offense changed. They began working the ball inside. They didn't score by leaps and bounds, but they did close the gap. South could only manage two scores from Kate Ervin, while North was lead by Lindsay Bussard and Brittany Mullins. Now the deficit was down to one point as South lead going to the last quarter.
North was playing good defense, but they needed someone to score for the team. Tiffany Daugherty answered the call for North. Up to then she had only scored 3 points, but in the last quarter the junior would explode for 10. Brittany Mullins and Rachel Heindl contributed in the fourth quarter surge as well, combining for 6 points. At the other end of the court, the North defense remained stingy only allowing 4 points as South was smothered for a 43-32 TCN victory. The South team was held to just 8 points in the second half, North locked down the basket with an impressive defensive display.
And what was the key to victory? “Defense”, answered North coach Molly Stammen. “The team played outstanding defense today.” At halftime the coach told the girls, “We have to make up our minds to win. There should be no doubt in [our] minds whether we are going to win or lose. Not to accept a turnover, not to accept a missed shot, not to get beat on a fast break, and also defense and rebounding.” The results were evident, “The girls then played with confidence and played like we should win.” Lastly Coach Stammen was asked about Daugherty's fourth quarter play, “When she gets on a roll the rest of the team picks up. There are freshmen on the floor and they look up to her. She's a big presence on the court. We talked to her at halftime and it switched a light on for her. She made shots when we needed them.” Next week North plays a tough Tri-Village team and then Bradford.
Coach Robinson was asked about the second half, “We couldn't get our shots to fall and that hurt us. And we tightened up. We may have missed Kali [Duchemin], she wasn't here and she's one that can take charge and step up. Kate [Irvin] was very tentative, it was her first game back after re-injuring her ankle. Kim Deleranko got into early foul trouble and had to back off. It was an ugly loss, but I give North credit. They hustled, and in the second half they really wanted it.”
Scoring for South: Bambeck 8, Reed 1, Voge 3, Lipps 6, Deleranko 5, Ervin 6, Groff 3. North Bussard 4, Daugherty 13, Whitaker 6, Heindl 8, Mullins 10. Comments: email: Chris Tilton