Panthers no match for Blazers 51-19

When things start going south in a basketball game, many time its hard, if not impossible for a team get momentum stopped, and climb back into the contest. It was like that for the Paola Panthers girls on Thursday, December 17, 2009 at Gardner, as the Panthers hung with the Trailblazers for a few minutes, event enjoying a short lived 3-2 lead after Kayla Offutt hit a three pointer very early in the first quarter.

WLH0164 The one point lead would be the last for the Panthers, as the Blazers scored quickly to re-take the lead at 4-3 and never looked back. The Trailblazers went on a 9-3 run to end the first quarter and hold a 13-6 lead at the end of one quarter of play. The Panthers would find it increasingly difficult to score on the evening, and following Offutt’s trey in the opening minute, it took nearly half of the first quarter to add another point on a free throw by Kylee Mader. The Panthers managed to pull to within five points with about two minutes to play in the quarter on a field goal by Courtney Johnson, but things were starting to go downhill for the Panthers.

The Panthers put another six points on the board in the second quarter, but the Trailblazers put up 17 and at the half, the Panthers trailed 30-12 and the rout was on. Mader opened the quarter hitting two free throws to cut the Blazer lead to five at 13-8, it was as close as the Panthers would come in the game. From there the Blazers went on a 17-4 run and took a 18 point lead to the locker room at halftime.

If the first half was bad for Paola, the second half was worse, and the third quarter was an absolute nightmare. Coming out of the break, Mader again was the first to score for the Panthers, this time hitting the front end of a two shot foul situation to make the score 30-13, it was the last points the Panthers would score in the quarter, as the Blazers clamped down the defense, and the Panthers found it difficult to move the ball up the floor, let alone get into any semblance of offensive sets. When the smoke had cleared on the third period, the Blazers had gone on a 12-1 run and the Panthers found themselves down by nearly 30 points at 42-13. It was the first time in a very long time a Panther team had been held without a field goal for an entire quarter of play.

But it would get worse, if that’s possible. The fourth quarter opened with Johnson hitting one of two free throws, and Mader hitting two of two to give the Panthers 16 points in the contest, a grand total of four in the second half, all coming on free throws. The Trailblazers, mercifully were not exactly burning up the nets, converting on a three pointer and a two point goal to push the lead to 47-16 before Melanie Golubski hit the front end of a one and one situation to give the Blazers a 30 point margin at 47-17 as time was starting to run down in the game.

The fourth quarter rolled on and the Panthers had still not netted a field goal in the last half, until with less then 30 seconds to play in the game, Offutt finally broke the field goal drought for Paola when she hit a short jumper from the baseline to make the final score 51-19.

The Trailblazer domination was so thorough that the Panthers scored only six points in the fourth period and seven for the entire second half hitting one field goal and going four of eight from the charity stripe in the second half.

No Panther player scored in double figures, as Mader paced Paola with eight points, Offutt had five, Johnson three, Annie Kessler two and Golubski one.

The Panthers will now take a couple weeks off, and will return to action on Friday, January 8, 2010 when they will host the DeSoto Wildcats.



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