Panthers Bearly Win
J. C. Tilton
The South Panthers faced off against the Northridge Polar Bears in a CCC vs. SWBL matchup. Coming into the game TVS has been able to use their height to score points and control the inside in the games that they have won. Northridge relied mainly on their ability to shoot from the outside - the three point shot has been their trademark in the games that I have seen.
The Polar Bears were slow to get their motor running in the first quarter. At one point TVS had a 12-3 lead. Katie McCoy would score 13 points in the first half, 9 of those in the first quarter. TVS post players combined for 17 of South's 19 points in the first quarter. Clearly Northridge would have to stop this and start hitting their shots. They were close on several three's, but did score from behind the arc at all until the second quarter. South employed a press - it got some turnovers, but was more effective in keeping the Polar Bears with their thin bench running up and down the court.
Northridge was able to adjust in the second and Allen connected on 2 treys to keep the Polar Bears close. South was able to enter the locker room with a 28-20 lead. In the second half the Panthers initially began with no press, but mixed it in to keep the Polar Bears from resting too much. Northridge incorporated a spread offense and moved the ball around to try and get open looks for their shooters. The two teams sparred back and forth but TVS clung to a six point lead as they began the final quarter.
South had some break downs inside where they allowed some easy buckets. Meanwhile TVS had problems finding the basket at the other end of the court. They had several looks within 8 feet, but could not score. Northridge began to catch up - the Polar Bear fans could smell blood and made them selves heard. Every time a South player went to the foul line, they got an earful. But made foul shots down the stretch helped keep South regain the lead, and missed opportunities dogged the Bears. Plus the fouls cost the Polar Bears Monica Byrant, who would foul out in the 4th. Katie McCoy, who had been shut down in the third quarter, made a free throw to tie the game at 39 at the 3:52 mark. Then after the Polar Bears had regained the lead with a free throw, Megan Durkle hit two to put TVS up by one. McCoy made another trip to the line for another point and then Brittany Hayes rebounded a missed free throw and put it back up for two. That would end the scoring as TVS let time run out to escape with the win 44-40.
Coach Robinson was asked about the second half, “We just didn't put the ball in the hoop. Their man to man was much more effective than their zone. We struggled a bit more against their man to man. We've got to get better at hitting our post where they need to be hit. Try to hit them as they are moving. Turnovers about cost us the ball game. I don't know if it is concentration or focus, but they will be accountable at practice. When we got pressure we started to panic. But we ran the clock well at the end. We'll take a win however we get it.
Scoring for the Panthers: Durkle 5, Brubaker 2, DuChemin 2, Stone 5, Hayes 15, McCoy 15. The reserve team won easily. Scoring: Spitler 5, French 5, Burkett 7, McCollum 2, Niswonger 2, Melling 4, Deleranko 7, Ervin 6, Tilton 8.