Panther Creek girls basketball picked up its sixth straight win with a relentless full-court press that refused to let up for 32 minutes, coming away with a 55-38 victory at Middle Creek Thursday night.
On their six-game run, the Catamounts have allowed only 27.8 points per game, holding opponents to 28 points or less on four of those occasions.
“(Defense) has been huge, a lot of our practice time has been spent working on defense and knowing what to do when every situation happens, we cover all aspects and apply it on the court,” said Gabby Rogers, who swiped away five steals in three quarters of work.
Nine different players chipped in on the offensive end for the Catamounts, with no player scoring more than 13 points, something the Panther Creek coach Danielle Moore views as a positive.
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“That’s our strength, that comes when you play good team defense and multiple people can get involved,” Moore said. “I think that can be one of our strengths late in the season, everyone can score and everyone can contribute.”
The win moved Panther Creek to fourth in the Southwest Wake Athletic Conference standings, only a half-game back from Apex and the third automatic playoff bid.
Middle Creek fell to fifth, but has a lot to play for with wild-card bids on the line.
“We have got to keep fighting … it’s not over for us, there’s a lot of games left and as long as there’s games left there’s times left,” Middle Creek coach Wes Petty said. “We’ve got to shake this one off and be ready to play.”
Amanda Sales led the Mustangs with six points and Lily Podolsky chipped in five points, five rebounds and two assists.
After allowing 21 points in the first half, Panther Creek kept Middle Creek from scoring until 2:55 remained in the third quarter, allowing only four points for the period.
“That press ate us alive in the third quarter,” Petty said.
They said it
“It’s a close-knit team, we think about each other more than we think about ourselves. Each player has their part in games.” – Gabby Rogers
Three who mattered
Jasmine McKoy, Panther Creek: McKoy hit 3 of 5 from behind the arc and led all players with 13 points and four assists.
Shotomei Greaux, Panther Creek: Greaux recorded 12 points and five rebounds and ran the offense with ease.
Rachel Mellinger, Panther Creek: Mellinger came off the pine in the fourth quarter shooting 4-for-4 from the field to help keep the Catamounts offense energized.
By the numbers
21: Steals for Panther Creek.
8: Mustangs who scored.