Panther Valley downs No. Lehigh in opener
It’s only one.
But for William “Dapper” Lynn, it was significant.
“This is a big win for us,” the Panther Valley girls’ basketball coach said after a 46-40 season-opening non-league victory over Northern Lehigh on Friday night.
The Panthers (1-0) utilized a quick start, one that included a 7-0 run to start the game and led to a 24-8 advantage early in the second quarter to grab momentum.
Sophomore Erika Dubosky scored four points during a 7-0 run to open the second period, and finished with a game-high 21 for Panther Valley.
“As a unit I feel like we’re better off this year,” said Dubosky. “We’re in better shape, and we’re able to push the ball down the court faster and get an offense set up.”
Megan Pascoe chipped in with 12 points, knocking down four 3’s, and Rachelle Filer added nine, including seven in the first quarter.
“One of the things I think is really helping is Rachelle is turning into an offensive player,” said Lynn. “She’s starting to become an offensive player. I was on her all summer to shoot the ball. She’s playing well, she’s starting to rebound. She’s a senior captain. Erika can play with anybody. Megan didn’t have to do what she did last year because we had Christina (Dacey, who averaged 9.18 points per game last season) and the other girls. Now she has to be our leader. And I keep telling her, she’s the quarterback, and she’s starting to get there. I’m pretty proud of them. We’re 1-0, and that’s where you want to be.”
The Bulldogs (0-1) battled back in the second half. A 13-0 run and a seven-minute scoreless streak from Panther Valley helped Northern Lehigh cut the deficit to 44-37 with 23 seconds to play.
After Dubosky buried two free throws with 11.5 seconds remaining, a late three from Jada Saeger set the final tally.
“We got off to a slow start,” said Bulldogs’ head coach Ken Shankweiler. “They were hitting everything, and we weren’t hitting anything. They shot very well, and credit them for that. And we didn’t get out on them. We tried the 2-3 (zone), we struggled with it, and they were knocking them down.
“But they came back in the second half. Our defense really picked it up. And we started knocking some down in the fourth quarter. And that’s the biggest thing. We have good shooters. And it’ll come. They’ll start to fall for us. ”
Saeger scored a team-high 18 points, 13 of which came in the second half.
Lynn knew Saeger, who averaged 18.45 points per game last season, would find the basket. But he was pleased with how well his defense contained her for much of the contest.
“I thought Brynn Jones did a great job on her, and Emiline (Markovich), and Riley (Wehr),” said Lynn. “We kept switching off, trying to tire her out. She’s a good ballplayer, but I thought we did very well. Most of our zones, we’re in matchups, so we really are in man. Even tonight, wherever she went, we had somebody guarding her. Everybody thinks we’re in a 1-3-1, but really we’re in a matchup (defense).”
It’s still early, but Lynn’s Panthers appear to be coming together just fine.
“It’s a new team, so we had to really work on blending together, and I think so far we’re doing pretty good,” said Pascoe. “We have to keep up the momentum and make sure we stay together as a team, lift each other up when we have downfalls; always have each other’s back.”
CHIPPING IN ... Emma Niebell scored eight points for Northern Lehigh, including six over the final two quarters.
Pascoe 4-0-0-12, Steber 1-0-0-2, Wehr 0-0-0-0, Vermillion 1-0-0-2, Markovich 0-0-0-0, Dubosky 5-11-12-21, Filer 4-0-0-9, Jones 0-0-0-0, Iudicello 0-0-0-0. TOTALS: 15-11-17-46.
Guelcher 2-0-0-4, Mack 0-0-0-0, Lear 1-0-0-3, Hoffman 1-3-6-5, Saeger 4-8-8-18, Seier 1-0-0-2, Niebell 4-0-0-8. TOTALS: 13-11-14-40.
Panther Vy. 17 9 16 4 - 46
No. Lehigh 8 6 10 16 - 40
Three-pointers: Panther Valley - Pascoe 4, Filer 1. Northern Lehigh - Saeger 2, Lear 1.