Delta sure didn’t get the majority of the rebounds against Fairview Tuesday night.
But it was the offensive board off a missed free throw that Brooklyn Green DID get, that turned a one-point lead into a three-point margin with 59 seconds left, pushing the Panthers over the top in a hard-fought 51-46 win over the Apaches in girls basketball.
“That’s a good team we just beat,” longtime Panther coach Ryan Ripke said. “The first thing you have to contain is their penetration, but they have got some girls that can shoot it from outside too.
“They are a really good team and they are going to win a lot of games, they will be a bear in the Green Meadows Conference and really for anybody.”
The Apaches outrebounded the Panthers 40-27 on the night, that broad margin apparent at the end of the first quarter when Riley Mealer’s fourth-chance try gave Fairview an 11-9 lead with five seconds left.
Braelyn Wymer’s transition triple and a fast break bucket by Green gave Delta a 14-11 gap early in the second, but Cassie Mavis’ third-chance hoop off the offensive glass knotted it back up at 14-14.
Wymer’s triple with 2:29 to go in the half pushed the Panthers back in front 21-18, but Fairview ended the half on a 6-0 run, capped by Mealer’s putback with 1:18 left for a 24-21 halftime lead.
Michelle Marshall’s long bomb with 4:56 to go in the third gave Fairview their biggest lead at 33-28; however, the Panthers would respond.
Keirsten Culler began an 8-0 run with a hoop off a dish from Braelyn Wymer, Brooklyn Wymer scored her only basket of the game in transition, Green hit a pull up jumper and Khloe Weber capped the burst with a curl from the left side for a 36-33 Delta lead at the 3:09 mark.
“We made a couple of adjustments at halftime,” explained Ripke. “I think the girls were patient and waiting for the right shots. We found a couple of girls open on the perimeter that hit a couiple of shots and we found a couple down low for wide open layups. It was just a little bit of an adjustment where we put girls in our offense.”
Fairview reclaimed the lead on Mavis’ bucket inside with 1:23 left, and after Reagan Rouleau scored to give the Panthers the lead back, Mealer took it right back for Fairview on an inbounds play to put the Apaches up 39-38 heading into the fourth.
Rouleau’s pair from the foul stripe and Green’s triple out of the left corner boosted the Panthers back on top 43-39 in the first minute of the fourth, but Carrie Zeedyk’s score off a Delta turnover with 3:06 to go brought Fairview back on top 46-45.
Green spun in the key and pushed one off glass to regain a one-point spread for Delta with 2:35 left, and after a series of misses by both teams, Rouleau was fouled with 59 seconds left and had a chance to increase the lead.
The junior forward missed the first, but Green speared the rebound, was fouled and knocked home both shots to give Delta a 49-46 lead.
Braelyn Wymer blocked the next Apache shot inside and drilled 1 of 2 free throws with 41 ticks left, giving Delta a two possession lead.
Again Fairview dumped the ball inside and again Wymer blocked a shot that Rouleau recovered before being fouled with 11 seconds to go.
Rouleau made good on 1 of 2 for the final tally.
“She doesn’t look like she is a shot blocker,” Ripke said of Wymer. “But I would bet a whole bunch of money that she’s the leader in blocked shots this year. She might have even led us in blocked shots last year. A lot of it is she gets into good position and she’s just got long arms. I don’t think she tries to block shots a lot of times, it’s just that she is in position. Those were huge.”
Fairview shot just 20 of 62 from the floor, including a scant 2 for 24 from outside the arc.
The Panthers were 20 of 46 from the field.
Green had 22 points to lead all scorers, while Rouleau added 11 for Delta. Zeedyk had 13 for Fairview and Mealer 11.
The Panthers are back in action Friday night, hosting Evergreen in the first game of a boys-girls doubleheader at Delta.
Reach Joe Blystone at email@example.com