Scots take Panthers down 60-51

The Paola Panther girls basketball team are on the wrong kind of roll to start the 2009-2010 season, as the Panthers dropped their second consecutive game, to finish fourth in the Panther Invitational pre-season basketball tournament on Friday, December 11, 2009 at the PHS Gym.

The Panthers were in the game, until they came out of the locker room cold to start the second half, and the Highland Park Lady Scots took advantage, turning a 32-30 halftime advantage to a 44-37 lead after three quarters, and the Panthers were unable to recover, and fell to the Lady Scots by a finals score of 60-51.

WLH0307 Even with the Panthers suffering their second consecutive loss, Panthers Head Coach Stuart Ross saw positive, and felt his Panthers had more positives to take away from this game than from their loss to the Piper Pirates two days earlier.

“We sustained a huge run and we got back in it,” Paola coach Stuart Ross said. “I thought a lot more positive things came from this game. That team had a lot more weapons than Piper did the other night.”

The Panthers started out well against the Lady Scots, opening a 9-5 lead before allowing the Scots to pull to a 15 all tie at the end of the first quarter. Kylee Mader and Kayla Offutt lead the Panthers during the period, as Mader hit four points and Offutt hit seven including a three pointer. Mackenzie Hallstrom hit two free throws and Courtney Johnson hit a bucket to round out the Panthers scoring.

The teams traded baskets to start the second quarter, the Lady Scots went on a 7-0 run to open a 24-17 lead, but the Panthers were able to pull back to within two at the end of the first half on the strength of a Mader basket and five free throws to make the score 32-30 at the half. Mader hit seven points in the quarter, Cheyenne Rankin added five, and Offutt three to round out the Panther scoring in the second quarter.

The Panthers were not able to stay with the Lady Scots in the second half, as they held Paola to just seven points in the third quarter, while scoring 12 and cracking open a close game and pulling out to a 44-37 lead at the end of the third quarter. The Panthers played the Lady Scots close in the final stanza, but could not close the gap, and ended up falling by the final nine point margin.

“I would rather play six games like this than one or two like we had Monday night which gives us a false sense of security,” Ross said. “Playing a team like Highland Park, we saw some things we need to work on. If we keep getting better, games like this will pay off.”

The Lady Scots featured a good inside and outside game, sinking 25 field goals on the evening, including seven three pointers, the Lady Scots put three players in double figures, hitting six of their three pointers in the first half. The Lady Scots were definitely a step up in competition, playing much tougher that the Piper Pirates who handed the Panthers their first loss two days earlier.

“Playing a team with that perimeter shooting and that post game, we had to throw the whole kitchen sink at them defensively,” Ross said. “We played a good press against a very athletic team.”

The Panthers were paced by Mader, who hit for 15 points with four field goals and seven of nine shooting from the free throw line. Offutt added 12 points with four field goals a three pointer and one of two from the line. The Lady Scots were lead in scoring by Andrea Rhoney with 14 points, followed by Devyn Edwards with 13 and Kanisha Mock with 10.

The Panthers will have to regroup quickly, as they will take to the road twice next week before the holiday break, traveling to Osawatomie on Tuesday to take on the Trojans and then to Gardner on Thursday to face the Trailblazers.