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Panthers slip past BEA

By Staff | Dec 21, 2009

Olivia Skaare

Alyssa Kerkhoff got her New Richland-Hartland-Ellendale-Geneva Panthers on the board first with a trey. The Panthers led all the way as they defeated the Blue Earth Area Bucs 47-37 in girls basketball action Dec. 11.

It was the second straight home court loss for the Bucs, whose shooting woes continued on the BEA court. A week after connecting on only 25 percent of their shots from the field, the Bucs didn’t fare much better against NRHEG, hitting only 13 of 48 shots – less than 28 percent.

The cold shooting and slow starts have put the Bucs behind early in their two home games and they have been unable to recover.

The BEA girls only trailed 19-14 at the end of the first half as their defense kept the game close. Morgan Dickman’s two treys and two free throws accounted for eight of the BEA points in the opening half.

Unfortunately for the Bucs, the Panthers wasted little time in widening the margin in the second half.

NRHEG threatened to blow the game open early in the second stanza – outscoring the hosts 13-4 in the opening minutes. Alyssa Hagen’s basket gave the Panthers a thirteen point lead at 32-19.

It took a conventional 3-point play by Ashley Olson to cut the gap to 10. The Bucs outscored the Panthers 10-4 over the next 4:30 to pull within four points at 36-32 – with 4:12 left in the game.

Three Panther free throws increased the NRHEG lead to seven, but Olson’s 3-pointer brought the Bucs within four points again, trailing 39-35. That would be as close as the Buccaneer girls would get.

BEA would be forced to foul and the Panthers made the most of their chances. They closed out the game making one field goal and 6 of 7 free throws to put the game away.

Dickman led the Bucs with 11 points including three treys. Olson tallied nine points on two treys and one conventional 3-point play.

The Bucs were 6 of 14 from the charity stripe, while the Panthers converted 15 of their 18 free throw attempts.

The loss drops the Bucs record to 2-2 overall, with all of the games being non-conference.