Big first quarter spurs Panther win, 48-26


By Joe Blystone - For the Expositor



Delta roared out to a 21-point second quarter lead, then Brooklyn Green put a stop to an Evergreen rally with a big third quarter, as the Panthers scored a 48-26 home non-league win over the Vikings Friday.

Actually it was Green leading the way as well in the first, scoring half of the Panther points in an 18-2 salvo.

The 5’8” junior, along with Reagan Rouleau who scored on stickbacks in the first 90 seconds before Green drilled a triple to give Delta a 7-0 lead.

Nicole Brand’s wing jumper put Evergreen on the board at the 4:40 mark but it took 8:44 on the clock before the cold-shooting Vikings scored from the field again.

In that span, Green scored from in the key, then on a 50-50 loose ball she ripped away from a Viking and laid in.

Braelyn Wymer knocked home two three-pointers, plus another two buckets on drives, and Khloe Weber scored on a cherry-pick runout for a 24-3 lead at the 3:56 mark of the second.

“It was nice to see Braelyn get going tonight,” longtime Delta coach Ryan Ripke said. “She had kind of a tough game against Fairview the other night, so it was nice to see her knock down a couple early on. Her shot isn’t quite where she wants it to be yet compared to last year but she’s getting there.”

Suddenly the Vikings, who were 1 of 18 from the floor at that point, got hot from behind the arc.

Savannah VanOstrand hit from left of top of the key, then Brand nailed one from the right, and finally Mady Peluso’s long range triple at the first half horn shaved what was a comfortable 21-point lead to 24-12.

“We got tired, especially in the middle part of the second quarter,” explained Ripke. “That was my fault because I kept the press on a little too long. The girls got tired, they started rotating a step too short, a second too late and reaching a little bit. Offensively we weren’t cutting as sharp, but you have to give credit to Evergreen. They were tired too and they fought through it a little better and hit some shots.”

Becca Bowser’s pair from outside the three-point line got Evergreen to within 29-18 with a chance to get the deficit to single digits before the Panthers rallied.

After getting a pair of stops, Rouleau scored on a curl cut to the rim, then Green hit a pair from the foul line and a long range three-ball with 39 seconds left in the third boosted the Panther lead back to a comfortable 36-18.

“She is really starting to assert herself,” Ripke said of Green. “She has gotten a lot more aggressive and she is starting to take on that role of ‘whatever the team needs I’m going to do’. They were face-guarding her and she just started setting screens and rolling out of them.

“She’s a tough matchup because she is a little bit taller and tough to guard outside and she is so quick in the post and it makes her tough for a bigger person to guard her as well.”

Green gave Delta their biggest lead at 48-25 with a 1:30 left with a bucket inside.

For the game, the Panthers shot 17 of 40 from the floor for 43 percent, while the Vikings were a frigid 9 of 47 for 19 percent.

Green had a game-high 20 points to lead Panther scorers while Wymer chipped in with 14.

Bowser led Evergreen with 11, including three triples.

Vikes bounce back against Pettisville

The Vikings came back the next night at home to defeat Pettisville, 49-28, to go back above the .500 mark at 4-3.

Pettisville fell to 2-7.

Evergreen started the game on a 12-0 romp as they never trailed in the contest.

Mady Peluso’s third-chance bucket, along with a steal and score, then Bekah Bowser’s triple and runner in the key, keyed the early burst.

Jessica McWatters hit back-to-back triples for the Blackbirds to chop that 12-point lead in half by the end of the quarter. But three-pointers from Kennedi Keifer, Savannah VanOstrand and Peluso increased the Viking lead to 25-11 by halftime.

Bowser and Keifer combined for three straight from long range starting the third, giving Evergreen their biggest gap at 34-11.

“We struggled shooting the ball in the first quarter, and that’s notorious for our team,” said Viking coach Brittaney Cymbolin. “Usually we pick it up in the second and third.

“They focused really hard on running plays correctly, and setting screens on bodies, then using those screens. I also think that when we started to push the ball more that good things started to happen.”

McWatters and Mikayla Graber combined for all nine points in a 9-2 run that sliced the lead to 36-20, but VanOstrand got two layups on feeds from Peluso, then a steal for a layup to regain a 42-20 lead after three.

The Vikings shot 12 for 25 in the middle two quarters, including six from outside the arc.

Evergreen was hampered by shooting just 7 for 14 from the foul line.

Pettisville shot just 10 of 42 for the night and committed 22 turnovers compared to 11 for the Vikings.

Bowser had 16 to lead all scorers, while VanOstrand added 12. McWatters had 15 to pace Pettisville.

By Joe Blystone

For the Expositor

Reach Joe Blystone at fcesports@aimmediamidwest.com

Reach Joe Blystone at fcesports@aimmediamidwest.com