The Ottumwa Courier

January 28, 2013

Panther girls use balance to beat Sigourney

ROGER THOMAS
Ottumwa Courier

PEKIN — Pekin had five players between six and 12 points and used a more than two to one rebounding margin to down Sigourney in non-conference girls basketball action,  Saturday night at Pekin.

Samantha Wright got the Panthers on the board with a 3-pointer and then three other starters contributed baskets to help Pekin lead 10-4 at the midpoint of the opening quarter.

The only other scoring in the quarter came on baskets by Val Magill and Karah Appleget for the Savages. Pekin led 10-8 after one.

In the early going, each team used a defensive change to try and gain momentum. The Panthers gained the most by the switch. Using a 1-3-1 zone, Pekin would outscore Sigourney 12-6 in the second to lead 22-14 at the break.

“We are using the zone more all the time,” said Pekin coach Davis Eidahl. “The girls work hard in practice with it, they are now getting confident in it and it helps our rebounding.”

Magill scored again to tie it at 10 to start the second. Pekin scored four straight to go up 14-10. Samantha Wright’s two free throws were followed by a basket by Beth Atwood.   

Atwood, a freshman coming off the bench, would lead the Panthers in scoring with 12.

Pekin would stretch the lead to 20-11 before Maddison Wood hit a three for the Savages. Atwood closed out the scoring in the half with a basket for an eight point Pekin lead.

Sigourney went just one of nine from beyond the arc in the opening half. The quickness of the perimeter players in the Panther zone had a lot to do with that.

“We look to the three as the biggest part of our offense,” said Sigourney coach Andy Harter. ”We got some looks but couldn’t hit them. Pekin did a good job with the zone.”

Wood again opened with a 3 and Sigourney was within five just 30 seconds into the third.  The Panthers went on a 6-0 run to push the lead to 28-17.

One of the keys to controlling the quarter was the Panther rebounding. Pekin would have a 15-4 advantage on the boards in the third.

Jordan Carter ended the run with a basket. Panther, Madelyn Baker, had her second basket of the quarter before Mateer Strong hit a 3-pointer for the Savages. Pekin added two  free throws to lead 32-22 heading to the fourth.

“We didn’t put a body on anybody and that really hurts your rebounding,” said Harter.

After Jessica Horras gave Pekin a 34-22 lead with two free throws just seconds into the final eight minutes, it gave the Panthers the cushion they needed to finish off the victory. Sigourney would never be closer that 10 the rest of the way.

Soon after her two free throws, Horras would foul out. Her night included seven points and six rebounds. She also was the middle of the Panther zone and the Panther zone offense.

“I touch the ball a lot and that gives me lots of chances to make choices for myself or my teammates,” Horras said. “I think we are really doing a better job of being balanced scoring. As far as rebounding goes, I’d rather rebound than score points.”

“This is the first time in a long time that we’ve had consistent scoring inside,” added Eidahl.

In the fourth, Jordan Carter had the best quarter for Sigourney with five but Gwynne Wright matched that for the Panthers. Four-straight points by Atwood gave Pekin their biggest lead at 41-26 with five minutes left to play.

“I like coming off the bench — it helps me control the nerves,” said Atwood. “I like to rebound and try to use my quickness inside.”

The Panthers moved their record to 10-10 with the win and will compete in the Southeast Iowa Superconference Shootout this week. Sigourney falls to 4-15 with the loss and will host English Valleys in South Iowa Cedar League action on Tuesday.

Pekin 46, Sigourney 34

SIG    –    8      6   8  12    –    34

Pek    –   10     12  10  14    –    46

Pekin (46) – Gwynne Wright 9, Jessica Horras 7, Samantha Wright 9, Madelyn Baker 6, Tiana Slaney 3, Beth Atwood 12. Totals 15-44 14-22 46.

3-point goals – 2-7, (S. Wright, G. Wright). Fouled out – Horras . Rebounds – 43 (Baker 10). Assists – 11 (S. Wright 7). Steals – 8 (G. Wright 2, S. Wright 2, Baker 2). Blocks – 2 (Horras 2). Total fouls – 11. Turnovers – 14.

Sigourney (34) – Karah Appleget 6, Maddie Wood 9, Jordan Carter 8, Val Magill 8, Mateer Strong 3. Totals 13-45 4-15 34.

3-point goals – 4-18 (Wood 3, Strong). Rebounds – 21 (Carter 10 ). Assists – 9 (Sydney Davis 6). Steals – 8 (Carter 4). Blocks – 3 (Magill 3). Total fouls – 13. Turnovers – 11.