Parkway junior Haley Hawk (52) takes a jumper against St. Henry defender Alexis Ontrop (21) during a Midwest Athletic Conference game Thursday night in Rockford. (DHI Media/Pat Agler)
Parkway junior Haley Hawk (52) takes a jumper against St. Henry defender Alexis Ontrop (21) during a Midwest Athletic Conference game Thursday night in Rockford. (DHI Media/Pat Agler)
ROCKFORD — The Parkway Lady Panthers hosted the St. Henry Redskins Thursday night for one last MAC battle before beginning tournament play next week. The game was competitive early, but as the second quarter got underway, the Redskins put a 15-2 run together. They put enough distance between themselves and the Lady Panthers before halftime that they never had to look back as they cruised for the rest of the night and went home winners, 75-53.

However, it was Senior Night, and the lone Parkway senior, Mikaylee Heindel, suited up for the first time in weeks since she had suffered a knee injury. It was a nice moment as she was inserted into the starting lineup one final time in her last game as a Panther.

“Kaylee has been our leader, and you don’t realize that until you don’t have them,” Parkway head coach Linda Hawk said after the game. “She was our leader and the glue of our team. She was our best defensive player and when she went down, it really hurt us because we lost our leader and we weren’t the same since.”

As for the game, Parkway jumped out to an early 6-3 lead, but several St. Henry runs allowed them to take the lead, and, ultimately, extend it. The Redskins went on an 8-0 run after falling behind 6-3. Redskin sophomore Danielle Lange had a huge night with 27 points, and she started their 8-0 run as she scored two baskets which were followed up with buckets by senior Alexis Ontrop and sophomore Allison Siefring. At the end of the first quarter, St. Henry led 14-10.

The second quarter is where the game got away from the Lady Panthers. They were outscored 18-5. When junior Sydney Crouch had to go to the bench with two fouls, the Panthers’ offense became stagnant, and defensively, there seemed to be nothing to stop the Redskins from entering the paint and scoring with ease.

“It was pretty much the story of the game,” Coach Hawk said. “We weren’t stopping their drives. We were getting beat off the dribble. We were getting beat baseline. We were getting beat up the middle and we didn’t close out on them.”

Going into halftime, Parkway trailed 32-15. Yet, they came out with a nothing-to-lose mentality in the third quarter. Offensively, they looked much better as they went on to score 21 points, but all night long their inability to consistently stop the Redskins’ offense cost them the game. St. Henry put up 23 points in the third quarter.

“We did a little bit better in running our offense in the second half,” Coach Hawk said. “However, it still comes down to defense and effort. There was a little bit more there in the second half, but we still gave up baseline countless times.”

The Lady Panthers head into tournament play next Wednesday as they take on the Fort Recovery Indians in Wapakoneta.

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ST. HENRY (75)

Cora Stammen 1-1 0-0 2, Kendra Rose 3-10 2-3 8, Danielle Lange 11-19 2-2 27, Addy Vaughn 3-4 2-2 8, Alexis Ontrop 1-3 0-0 2, Allison Siefring 5-8 3-5 13, Nora Vaughn 2-4 3-4 9, Nikki Keller 3-3 0-0 6

PARKWAY (53)

Sophia Miller 1-6 0-0 3, Sydney Crouch 7-10 2-5 18, Bailey Bates 5-16 1-3 12, Leah Harshman 1-2 1-3 3, Allie Ford 1-4 0-0 2, Claire Eichler 2-5 0-2 4, Haley Hawk 5-12 1-1 11

St. Henry 14 18 23 20 – 75

Parkway 10 5 21 17 – 53

3-point field goals: SH 5-15 (Lange 3) PW 4-14 (Crouch 2); Rebounds: SH 30 PW 25; Assists: SH 11 PW 12; Turnovers: SH 15 PW 17; Fouls: SH 9 PW 12