Strict defensive efforts decimate the Panthers

Strict defensive efforts decimate the Panthers

Friday, December 9, 2022

by Tom Haines

Photo by Nick Winning/The Daily Standard

Parkway’s Allison Hughes (4) pulls off Fort Recovery’s Eva Kahlig (4), Saige Leuthold (10) and Karlie Niekamp (3) at Fort Site Fieldhouse on Thursday.

FORT RECOVERY Carrying the Parkway defense through a cold start, the Panthers offense emerged in the second half for a 49-24 victory over the Fort Recovery in the Midwest Athletic Conference girls’ basketball game at Fort Site Fieldhouse on Thursday.

Parkway (6-0, 2-0 MAC) scored just six points over the first 14 1/2 minutes before taking the lead just before halftime, then turning on the Jets in the third.

“Kindly at the last minute, we just threw the pressure in there, just trying to get some offense, in a way,” Parkway coach Dan Williamson said. “That was enough in the first half. I think our depth wore them out. You could tell their girls were pretty worn out by the end of the third quarter. But we just tried to do anything we could to put some points on the board.”

Allison Hughes got the Panthers on the board with 4:08 left in the first, which led to Paige Williamson’s miss, but that was all the Fort Recovery (0-5, 0-2 MAC) allowed in the first eight minutes. The Indians took the lead when Kennedy Muhlenkamp converted a single to make it 3-2 with 1:51 remaining.

Parkway shot only 1 of 15 in the first quarter, with leading scorer Gabriel Stuber leading 0 of 5, and struggled to get into the Fort recovery zone.

“I was really happy that they were so positive with themselves,” said Coach Williamson. “They knew they could play better, and they did.”

Maddie Guggenbiller hit a key high three with 40 seconds in the second quarter to lead the Indians by four, but Stober responded with a pair of free throws and Hughes tied the game with a layup with 5:48 left in the first half.

Both defenses dug in again, with a scoreless 3 1/2 minutes going without a basket by either team.

“We know the Parkway is going to be good,” Fort Recovery coach Holly Gunn said. “But for 14 minutes into the game, we were where we wanted to be. We’ve got to look at a few things, where we’ve seen the momentum change a little bit, make those changes, just go back to the gym tomorrow and get better.”

But the Panthers’ pressure finally began to pay off late in the second. The Fort Recovery turned the ball over after failing to field the ball within five seconds, Stober caught a pass from Hughes to break the tie, and the Indians skipped the ball out of bounds near the middle of the field.

Hughes returned a fumble by Williamson, Stober stole the ball and hit a free throw, and Britten Bronze got a steal to make Stober’s hook shot that rolled around the rim and landed in 19.8 seconds left to make it 13-6.

Photo by Nick Winning/The Daily Standard

Parkway’s Britten Bruns latched onto a layup as Fort Recovery’s Kennedy Muhlenkamp defends at Fort Site Fieldhouse on Thursday.

“We knew if we could run the ball offensively for long periods of time, we took the transition from the game, slowed it down, and controlled the tempo,” Gunn said. “So I think it was very easy to see the game strategy there, and it worked for us for a while. I’m going to watch it here, to see where the pivot point was where we decided we weren’t going to do this anymore.”

Guggenbiller hit three more early in the third to cut the lead to six, but Parkway’s offense began to catch up. Hughes converted the hoop and hurtled, Adria Miller returned a fumble, and Williamson drained three straight home runs to make it 23-10.

Kali Wendell hit the press to stop the Indians, but Williamson hit three more, then found Hughes in transition, and Bronze got a steal and a breakaway bucket as Parkway closed out the third with a 19-point lead.

Williamson hit her fourth drive two minutes into the fourth quarter, finishing 4 of 8 from behind the arc for 12 points.

“She’s struggled in the last two games,” said Coach Williamson. “Taking good shots, kind of like the first half, just rushing it a little bit. Hopefully the second half for her will kind of get her going.”

Stober also scored 12 points, while Goggenpeller led the Indians with 11.

“Alli is starting to show,” Coach Williamson said. “She’s not just an offensive rebel anymore. We can throw the ball at her, and she’s got some after moves that she can finish off.”

Parkway travels to Antwerp on Saturday with a chance of a seven-game winning streak to open the season. Fort Recovery gets back in action on Tuesday with a trip to St. Marys.

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