Parkway’s Sophia Miller (14) takes a jumper as Spencerville’s Abbygayle Satterfield defends during a girls basketball game in Rockford on Tuesday evening. The Lady Bearcats left town with a narrow win. (DHI Media/Pat Agler)
Parkway’s Sophia Miller (14) takes a jumper as Spencerville’s Abbygayle Satterfield defends during a girls basketball game in Rockford on Tuesday evening. The Lady Bearcats left town with a narrow win. (DHI Media/Pat Agler)
ROCKFORD — Looking to bounce back from Monday’s loss to New Bremen, Parkway faced off against Spencerville in Rockford on Tuesday. The game featured a pair of evenly-matched squads, but four late free throws brought the Lady Bearcats from behind to win 51-49.

Neither side held a lead larger than 6 points, and the game went down to the wire. Spencerville senior Tiffany Work went to the free throw line in the waning seconds with her Bearcats down by a bucket. She was as clutch as they come, sinking both of her free throws, which tied the game at 49.

The Lady Panthers tried to inbound the ball quickly, but their attempt was intercepted by Spencerville. Following the steal, junior Kaiden Grigsby was fouled and headed to the foul line with an opportunity to give the Lady Bearcats the lead with four seconds remaining in regulation. Grigsby had missed three of her previous five attempts from teh line, but calmly sank both in this instance. The Lady Panthers couldn’t get a desperation heave to fall, ending the game.

“We try to instill that we’re not in panic mode,” Spencerville head coach Greg Ekis said after the game. “We try to relax and try not to panic. Kaiden made a great play at the end of the game where she was able to steal the inbounds pass, and she knocked in her free throws. She did a great job.”

The game was tied at 14 at the conclusion of the first quarter, and it was evident that the game was going to be close throughout. The Lady Bearcats did put some distance between themselves and Parkway in the second quarter. Up 20-19, Spencerville junior Jenna Henline sank a corner 3-point shot and sophomore Alex Carter followed that up with a bucket of her own to cap off a brief 5-0 run. At the end of the second, that was the difference as the Lady Bearcats went into halftime leading 27-22.

A renewed Lady Panther squad came out of the locker room, an intense full-court press caused eight third-quarter turnovers, and allowed the Panthers to outscore Spencerville 14-7 for the period, despite the Lady Bearcats outrebounding them 10-4. In the third quarter, Parkway junior Haley Hawk started finding success as she scored 6 points, and juniors Sydney Crouch and Bailey Bates each knocked down 3-pointers. All of which went into the Lady Panthers taking a 36-34 lead into the fourth quarter.

“We challenged our girls at halftime,” Parkway head coach Linda Hawk said. “We told them that they had to play hard and that we were still in the game. We had to rebound. We had to box-out, and they did a really good job of that in the third quarter, but we just fell short at the end and didn’t control the ball when we needed to.”

In the final quarter of play, the wheels fell off for the Lady Panthers. Turnovers and inconsistent foul shooting hindered the Panthers, but it was ultimately the Lady Bearcats coming through and making plays allowed them to win the game. They forced six Parkway turnovers in the fourth quarter and made big free throws when the game was on the line.

***

SPENCERVILLE (51)

Kaiden Grigsby 3-4 4-7 10, Kelsey Shaffer 1-1 0-0 2, Jenna Henline 5-16 2-5 16, Abbygale Satterfield 1-2 1-1 3, Tiffany Work 2-5 6-8 10, Nelaya Burden 0-7 0-0 0, Julie Mulholland 2-4 0-0 4, Alex Carter 3-6 0-0 6

PARKWAY (49)

Sophia Miller 1-5 0-0 2, Sydney Crouch 3-8 1-2 8, Bailey Bates 5-11 2-8 14, Leah Harshman 2-5 0-0 4, Allie Ford 3-8 1-2 7, Haley Hawk 5-14 3-4 14

Spencerville 14 13 7 17 – 51

Parkway 14 8 14 13 – 49

3-point field goals: SV 4-19 (Henline 4) PW 4-10 (Bates 2); Rebounds: SV 32 PW 28; Assists: SV 9 PW 11; Turnovers: SV 19 17; Fouls: SV 13 PW 18