Parkway’s Kylie Snyder puts up a shot in a game against Spencerville at Parkway High School Tuesday. The Lady Panthers fell to the visiting Lady Bearcats 65-60. (Times Bulletin/Pat Agler)
BY BRIAN BASSETT
Times Bulletin Sports Editor
ROCKFORD - The Spencerville Lady Bearcat and Parkway Lady Panther basketball teams met at Parkway High School Tuesday night in a non-conference clash. The game was fast-paced, and sloppy at times, but in the end the Lady Bearcats held off a late Parkway surge to hold on for a 65-60 win.
"(This is) huge for us as far as progression," Spencerville coach Warren Pughsley said. "We've steadily improved, and it took that to create belief. The work we've been putting in and that belief shows us it works, so we'll keep working."
For Parkway coach Lynn Hughes, it came down to rebounding. The Lady Panthers outrebounded Spencerville 37-28, but Spencerville got better use of theirs, getting a majority of their points off of putbacks.
"We've got to rebound. We outrebounded them, but we gave up so many offensive rebounds," explained Hughes.
Parkway also outshot the visitors 34 percent to 31 percent, but Spencerville managed more makes (24 to 22) and took more shots (78 to 64).
The Lady Bearcats hit 4-of-7 from beyond the arc, to Parkway's 1-of-4, and committed only 16 turnovers to the Lady Panthers' 24.
"We missed a lot of bunny shots," continued Hughes. "You've got to make them count. We've also got to take care of the basketball. I think we had 24 turnovers for the game. At key points in the game, we turned the ball over."
Pughsely said that disrupting Parkway's passing lanes was something that his team stressed. "In the beginning, for some reason, we were allowing passes up the court and we were concentrating on the trap. Once we got in their passing lanes and realized we could get steals and deflections and different things - that seemed to turn the game around."
Parkway jumped out to a 14-11 lead after a quarter of play. The Lady Panthers ran their lead to 18-13 before Spencerville came storming back to take the lead on a steal and basket by junior guard Karri Purdy. The Lady Bearcats got a jump shot and a three-pointer from sophomore guard Megan Miller to help them run their lead to 28-23 at the break.
Spencerville held the lead for half of the third quarter before the Panthers put a run together which culminated in a basket by senior forward Kylie Snyder to give the hosts a 38-37 lead.
The remainder of the third was back-and-forth, and a layup from senior forward Abby Freewalt in the closing seconds of the quarter returned the lead to the Lady Bearcats, 46-45.
The Freewalt basket sparked a run into the early fourth quarter, and Spencerville saw its lead grow to 58-51 on a steal and score by freshman guard Jacey Grigsby.
Later, down 62-52 with just under three minutes to play in the game, the Lady Panthers clawed back into it. Snyder scored three unanswered layups, and junior center Sierra Fent added one of her own to cut the Spencerville lead to 62-60 with a minute left to play.
Sophomore point guard Schylar Miller hit a layup to return the Lady Bearcat lead to four points with 41 seconds left, and the Lady Panthers couldn't answer. Miller then hit a single free throw to make the final score 65-60.
Pughsley was pleased with the win, especially with the slew of injuries the Lady Bearcats have been battling of late. "Injuries have been dominating our team this year. That's really what we've been playing against, not only our opponent, but injuries. For us to win with our second-leading scorer and senior leader injured, to look over and see multiple players on crutches or just getting out of a boot, it's really big."
Freewalt led all scorers with 19 points, and chipped in nine rebounds for the Lady Bearcats. Purdy, with 13, and Grigsby, with 11, also tallied double figures.
Snyder paced the Lady Panthers with 17 points. Fent added 12 points and eight boards, and junior forward Cami Hellwarth had 10 points.
The loss drops Parkway to 2-11 on the season. Spencerville improves to 2-9.
SPENCERVILLE (FGM-A, 3PM-A, FTM-A, Pts.)
Freewalt 6-17 0-0 7-8 19, Purdy 6-20 1-3 0-1 13, Grigsby 4-14 0-0 3-6 11, Meyer 2-5 2-3 0-0 6, M. Miller 2-5 1-1 0-2 5, S. Miller 1-5 0-0 3-4 5, Sharp 1-4 0-0 0-0 2, Propst 1-4 0-0 0-0 2, Merriman 1-4 0-0 0-0 2.
Snyder 6-15 0-0 5-6 17, Fent 6-12 0-0 0-2 12, Hellwarth 3-8 0-0 4-4 10, Samaniego 4-10 1-3 0-0 9, Bransteter 2-1 0-0 4-10 8, Heindel 1-6 0-0 0-0 2, T. Walls 0-1 0-0 2-2 2, K. Walls 0-1 0-1 0-0 0.
Spencerville 11 17 18 19 - 65
Parkway 14 9 22 15 - 60