Delta’s Maddie Mattimore scored half of her game-high 24 points on four straight treys in the second quarter which allowed the Panthers to pull away from Pettisville in a 63-49 non-league girls basketball win Tuesday night in the Birdcage.
Delta led 20-17 when Mattimore knocked down her first triple at the 3:46 mark of the second quarter. She quickly added another to extend the lead to 26-17.
Pettisville’s Morgan Leppelmeier broke up the run when she scored, but Mattimore continued to get open from the same spot at the wing and dropped in her third triple. She added one more when Abby Freeman came up with a steal and fed an open Mattimore at the wing for her fourth trey.
“Our press is a lot better when we can score and get into it,” said Delta coach Ryan Ripke. “She (Mattimore) gets hot and she’s tough to guard. When she scores it gets our girls pumped up and it gives us a chance to set up our press.
“When she starts hitting two, then three, the other team starts pressing a little bit,” added Ripke. “They start playing chaotically, and that’s what we want. We want them to start playing with a lot of chaos. They start throwing the ball around and they start turning it over.”
The Blackbirds took a timeout after the final triple to regroup. Elizabeth Beck canned two free throws and Nichole Foor scored as Pettisville attempted to cut into the lead. The teams traded free throws as Delta took a 36-25 lead into the halftime break.
“In the second half we wanted to get the foul line,” explained Pettisville coach Jason Waldvogel. “The whistle stops for us tonight weren’t a terrible thing.”
After forcing 11 turnovers in the first half, Delta continued to pressure Pettisville. It led to seven more miscues with the basketball by the Birds in the third stanza. The pressure also led to fouls, as Pettisville reached the bonus late in the third period. Mikayla Graber hit a pair of free throws and Brandi Schnitkey hit the front end of a one-and-one to end the third quarter. Kendal Pursel opened the final period with a bucket as Pettisville cut the lead to 49-38.
“They wanted it to be chaotic and we allowed it to be chaotic,” Waldvogel said of the game. “We just need to be strong with the basketball.”
Delta answered with an elbow jumper from Brooklyn Green and a score by Braelyn Wymer. Green added a triple with 5 ½ minutes left to push the lead to 58-40.
“When we can get other girls hitting outside shots like that, that makes us tougher to guard,” added Ripke.
Pettisville did have an 8-2 run late in the game, but they couldn’t get the lead down to single digits. The teams ended the game with free throws in a 63-49 game.
“Once we got in the halfcourt, we were a little more aggressive,” added Waldvogel.
The Birds finished the game with 18 turnovers. They were 17 of 31 shooting and won the rebounding battle 31-26. Pettisville finished 16 of 30 from the free throw line.
Delta shot 23 of 55 from the floor and went 8 of 11 from the stripe with 10 turnovers.
Mattimore led all scorers with 24 points. Green added 14 points and Brooklyn Wymer tossed in 9 points.
Leppelmeier led Pettisville with 13 points. Foor added 11 points.
Delta (2-0) hosts Tinora Thursday in non-league play. Pettisville (1-1) plays at Fayette (1-1) Thursday in Buckeye Border Conference play.
Reach Randy Roberts at email@example.com