The Ottumwa Courier

February 3, 2014

Pekin girls hold off IMS, Sigourney

By ROGER THOMAS
Courier correspondent

---- — PEKIN — The Pekin Panthers led for nearly the entire game, but had to hold off IMS in the final quarter to win the SEISC North girls' basketball game, 45-44, Friday night at Pekin. The win allowed the Panthers to sweep the visitors in the season series.

That win was followed up on Saturday with a 67-32 win over Sigourney in the battle of Skunk River rivals. Beth Atwood came up big for the Panthers on Saturday with a triple-double with 20 points, 11 rebounds and 11 steals.

The loss for the Savages was their second straight, one night after a 43-38 South Iowa Cedar League setback to Keota snapped a five-game winning streak for head coach Andy Harter’s squad.

Against IMS on Friday, Tiana Slaney and Atwood scored to put Pekin up 4-0 before the visitors came back to grab a brief 5-4 lead after a basket by Cassidy Bontrager. After Atwood scored again, the Panthers would lead until midway through the third.

Samantha Wright hit a 3-pointer before Atwood added a pair of free throws to put the Panthers up 11-7. Riley Schmieder’s basket tied it at 11 to end the first.

Pekin took control in the second eight minutes by outscoring IMS 18-8 to lead by 10 at the half. Atwood converted a three-point play to open the second and McKenna Gambell scored off the bench to give the Panthers a 16-11 lead. The two Panther post players led Pekin’s scoring for the game as Atwood scored 15 while Gambell scored 12.

The surprise was Gambell. She would have eight of her 12 points in the second quarter.

“This was my best game,” said Gambell. “Coach (Davis Eidahl) tells me to look to shoot coming off the bench and I know I have to use my size to rebound.”

“It really helps to have her contribute like she did,” added Eidahl.

With Gambell leading the way and defensive changes by the Panthers, IMS struggled to keep the game close.

“We used the three defenses we normally use,” said Eidahl.

Atwood’s first basket of the third kept the Panthers' lead at 10 at the seven-minute mark. IMS then went on an 11-0 run to grab the lead at 32-31 at the midway point of the quarter. Olivia Yutzy and Hannah Miller combined for nine of the 11 points in the run.

“We seemed to get a little lackadaisical and be a half a step behind during their run,” said Eidahl.

The Pekin inside-outside game righted the ship and gave the lead back to the Panthers. Gwynne Wright’s second 3-pointer gave Pekin a 34-32 lead. Atwood added the next two baskets for Pekin and the lead was back to 38-32 with under two minutes to play in the third.

Atwood, only a sophomore, talked about her game.

“I’m really comfortable being the player that we look to inside,” Atwood said. “I try to use my quickness inside.”

The teams traded baskets to close out the quarter.

“When we are patient and let this combination work for us by reversing the ball, we are a good offensive team,” said Eidahl.

Gwynne Wright added her third 3-pointer to open the fourth and put Pekin up 43-34.

“I don’t think it makes it harder to have to handle the ball as well as look to score,” said Wright. “I’m looking for the 3 any time I’m open.”

IMS scored seven straight to close to within 43-41, but Gambell added a basket to offset Riley Schmieder’s 3 at the buzzer to provide the Panthers with a one-point victory.

Against Sigourney on Saturday, Pekin made sure there was no late close by the Savages. After holding a slim 17-14 lead after one quarter, the Panthers outscored Sigourney 18-7 in the second quarter before allowing just three points in the third to open the lead to 20 points heading to the fourth. Sydney Davis scored nine points in the loss to lead Sigourney.

Pekin (13-4, 12-4) returns to SEISC North play at Highland on Tuesday. Sigourney (10-10, 9-9) is back in SICL action Tuesday at home against English Valleys.

GIRLS BASKETALL

Friday’s Game

Pekin 45, Iowa Mennonite 44

IMS 11 8 15 10 – 44

PEK 11 18 11 5 – 45

IMS (44) – Kristin Davis 5, Olivia Yutzy 12, Riley Schmieder 13, Hannah Miller 11, Cassidy Bontrager 3. Totals 18-51 3-6 44.

3-point goals – 5-10 (Davis, Schmieder, Miller 3). Fouled out – none. Rebounds – 22 (Davis 6, Schmieder 6). Assists – 8 (Davis 7). Steals – 7 (Yutzy 2, Miller 2, Bontrager 2). Blocks – none. Total fouls – 12. Turnovers – 10.

PEKIN (45) – Gwynne Wright 11, Samantha Wright 5, Tiana Slaney 2, Atwood 15, Gambell 12. Totals 19-42 3-4 45.

3-point goals – 4-12 (G. Wright 3, S. Wright). Fouled out – none. Rebounds – 31 (Atwood 10, Gambell 9). Assists – 7 (G. Wright 2, S. Wright 2, Atwood 2). Steals – 5 (G. Wright 3). Blocks – none. Total fouls – 13. Turnovers – 21.

Saturday's Game

PEKIN 67, SIGOURNEY 32

PEK. 17 18 12 20 — 67

SIG. 14 7 3 8 — 32

Pekin (67) — Beth Atwood 20, McKenna Gambell 10, Madelyn Baker 9, Jessica Horras 7, Sloan Reighard 6, Gwynne Wright 5, Tiana Slaney 4, Samantha Wright 3, Cassidy Tolle 2, Bridget Fritchen 1. Totals 26-56 11-17 67.

3-point goals — 4-16 (Atwood 1-1, Baker 1-2, G. Wright 1-5, S. Wright 1-6). Rebounds — 41 (Atwood 11). Assists — 12 (Atwood 3). Steals — 19 (Atwood 11). Blocks — 2 (Horras 2). Total fouls — 25. Turnovers — 8.

Sigourney (32) — Sydney Davis 9, Jordan Carter 7, Becca Ohland 5, Karah Appleget 4, Maddison Wood 4, Sierra Davis 3. Totals 7 FG 17-29 32.

3-point goals — 1 (Sy. Davis). Total fouls — 19.