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Panthers pull away from 'Dogs 44-29

The Paola Panther Girls spent the first quarter figuring out which way was up against the Anderson County Bulldogs in a rare Monday night game at PHS on February 22, 2010.

The Panthers fell behind the Bulldogs by a 9-4 score in the first quarter, but suddenly the Panthers figured things out and proceeded to outscore the visitors 40-18 over the next three quarters to take a 44-29 victory.

WLH0137 “This was a team win,” said Panthers Head Coach Stuart Ross. “Everybody has a job to do, and when they do them, good things happen.”

The Panthers floundered through the first ten minutes of the game, scoring only four points and falling behind by seven at 11-4 early in the second quarter. But things started to click with a little over two minutes gone in the second period. After a free throw by Allison Wood broke the Panther scoring slump, the flood gates began to open, and the Panthers went on a 14-2 run to close the half, turning the seven point deficit into a five point lead which the Panthers never relinquished.

Annie Kessler hit a basket and Courtney Johnson added two free throw to pull Paola within two at 11-9. Jodi Sutton it the Bulldogs only points of the second quarter to give Anderson County a 13-9 lead, but the Panthers pulled into a tie on a Johnson basket and two free throws from Kessler at the 2:30 mark in the quarter. The Panthers weren’t done, as Cheyenne Rankin hit a jumper, followed by a Rachel Schmidt basket and the Panthers were ahead 18-13. Kessler closed out the scoring in the first half with a free throw and as the teams broke for halftime, the Panthers had turned the game around and lead 18-13.

The Panther defense really put the lid on the game in the third quarter, limiting the Bulldogs to just five points on a basket by Sutton, a second by Macy Adams and a single free throw by Kendra Porter. Meanwhile the Panthers hit ten points on baskets by MacKenzie Hallstrom, Allison Wood, Ann Pomatto and Johnson. Wood and Hallstrom each hit single free throws to give the Panthers 10 points in the quarter.

In the fourth quarter, the Panthers maintained their 10 point lead and eventually pulled away from the Bulldogs on some heads up defensive plays by Hallstrom late in the quarter to reach the final 15 point margin.

After the Bulldogs cut the lead to eight points on a basket by Jaime Mersman, Hallstrom scored off a steal to put the lead back to 10 points at 30-20 with just under six and a half minutes to play in the game. The bulldogs went on a 6-2 run to cut the lead to six points at 32-26 about half way through the quarter, but Hallstrom made another running basket and Kessler nailed two free throws to put the Panthers back up by 10 points with three minutes to play.

The Panthers closed the game on a 8-3 run as Hallstrom and Johnson hit buckets to push the Panther lead to 14 at 40-26 with a minute to play, before Porter converted a three point play to cut the lead back to 11 a few seconds later. Hallstrom closed the scoring for the Panthers with back to back steals and driving lay ups in the final minute of play to give the Panthers the 44-29 victory.

“The number one most impressive thing about this game to me was the play of our bench,” Ross said. “We’re battling some sickness right now so we had a short bench, which meant several players had to play more minutes that they are used to. Part of our scouting report was that our bench was going to have to come in and maintain leads, but they actually helped build leads and that was impressive.”

The Panthers were paced by Hallstrom who hit for a team and game high of 17 points, including 10 points in the fourth quarter. No other Panther player hit for double figures, Johnson hit eight and Kessler added seven for Paola. The Panthers did not hit a three pointer on the night, and hit 12 of 19 free throws in the contest.

Sutton was the leading scorer for the Bulldogs with nine points. The Bulldogs also did not hit a three point shot and were just five of 11 from the free throw line.

The Panthers will have an extra day to prepare to take on the Gardner-Edgerton Trailblazers on Friday, Febuary 26, 2010. It will be the final regular season home game for the Panthers and will feature senior night recognitions. The Panthers will take part in the sub state tournament set for next week in Osawatomie to close out the basketball season.

PLAYER

2's

3's

ftm

fta

F

pts

Hallstrom

8

0

1

2

3

17

Rankin

1

0

0

0

0

2

Golubski

0

0

0

0

0

0

Farmer

0

0

0

0

0

0

Johnson

3

0

2

2

1

8

Wood

1

0

2

4

3

4

Mader

0

0

2

5

5

2

Kessler

1

0

5

6

0

7

Schmidt

1

0

0

0

1

2

Pomatto

1

0

0

0

2

2

TOTAL

16

0

12

19

15

44

BOX SCORE

PLAYER

2's

3's

ftm

fta

F

pts

Rockers

1

0

0

0

1

2

Wolken

2

0

0

0

1

4

Adams

1

0

0

3

0

2

Porter, P.

1

0

0

0

1

2

Porter, K.

2

0

2

4

3

6

Mersman

1

0

2

2

4

4

Sutton

4

0

1

2

5

9

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

TOTAL

12

0

5

11

15

29

BOX SCORE

Team

1st

2nd

3rd

4th

F

Paola

4

14

10

16

44

Anderson Co.

9

4

5

11

29

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