(DHI Media/ Pat Agler)
(DHI Media/ Pat Agler)

ROCKFORD — Thursday night’s Parkway/Perry game started out like a Lady Panther rout. However, a scrappy bunch of under-sized, under-manned Lady Commodores made it interesting in the end before falling on the short end of a 54-50 Parkway win. The Panthers are now 2-0, the Commodores 0-2.

Perry normally has only 11 players (no seniors) and no JV team. With illnesses and injuries, only seven players were available against Parkway, but all seven contributed to the impressive comeback.

Parkway totally dominated a 12-2 first quarter and most of an 18-12 second quarter to enter the halftime break up comfortably at 30-14. The much taller Panthers dominated the boards at both ends and got much of their scoring on layups and put-backs.

The hosts were still up comfortably late in the third quarter — 38-20 with 1:59 on the clock — but that’s when the visitors started an impressive, though gradual, charge. The Commodores ended the period with a 13-3 run, capped off with a 35-foot buzzer-beating running bank shot by 5’3 sophomore Lily Floyd — 41-33, Panthers, after three.

Perry could get no closer early in the fourth quarter. Parkway led 46-35 with 6:33 left, but a slew of Panther turnovers along with transition buckets by Commodore junior Tia Barfield resulted in an 11-2 run that had Perry within 48-46 at 2:55. A put-back by Parkway’s 5’9 junior Claire Eichler and an interception/layup by junior Shaelyn Thomas stretched the lead to 52-46 at 2:10.

A Barfield put-back cut it to 52-48 at 1:26, but two free throws by junior Leah Harshman at 0:24 made it safe again — 54-48. Barfield’s breakaway layup with two seconds left provided the final margin.

Barfield led all scorers with 25, and Floyd chipped in with 10. Nine Parkway players entered the scoring column, led by Eichler’s 16. She was followed by five players with six points apiece — Thomas, Harshman, junior Kris Kirby, senior Allie Ford, and senior Stephanie Schaff.

There were fouls aplenty by both teams (21 each), but the pressure defenses also succeeded in forcing a rash of turnovers at both ends. Thus, it was not a pretty game. Neither coach could’ve been happy with the free throw shooting either — Perry hit only 43 percent (9 of 21), and Parkway was even worse at 38 percent (11 of 29).

Perry (50)

Zierre Thompson 3, Makiah Denson 5, Lily Floyd 10, Tia Barfield 25, Semira Healey 4, Brooke Miller 0, Alyssia Oberlin 3.

Parkway (54)

Shaelyn Thomas 6, Kris Kirby 6, Leah Harshman 6, Allie Ford 6, Claire Eichler 16, Stephanie Schaff 6, Kelsey Nichols 4, Rachel Barrett 0, Elise Darrigan 3, Claire Langenkamp 1.

Lima Perry 2 12 19 17 - 50

Parkway 12 18 11 13 - 54