Delta scores comeback win over Pettisville

By Joe Blystone - For the Expositor

After being shellacked by Woodmore 48 hours before and then shooting just 22 percent in the first half against Pettisville, Kelsey Gillen’s Delta Panthers did an about-face, hitting 53% from the field in the second half to mark up a 45-42 win over the Blackbirds in girls basketball Monday night.

Delta is now 3-1 on the year while Pettisville fell to 3-3.

“I think when we put pressure on them we made them go a little faster than they wanted to,” Coach Gillen said of the second half revival. “I think they hurried shots a couple times that created some easier chances for us going the other way.”

Delta shot just 28 percent in the opening stanza, however, Pettisville went just 2-11 with nine turnovers as the Panthers took a 10-7 lead.

Kate Friess’ leaner with 52 seconds left in the first provided that three-point margin, but it would take nearly eight more minutes for the Panthers to score again.

In the meantime, Leah Beck’s power move ignited an 11-0 run to give the Birds an eight point lead.

Olivia Miller hit a foul line jumper, Alli King splashed a three, and the Birds hit 4-4 from the foul stripe to grab an 18-10 margin.

Sophia Burres rolled to the rim for a score with a minute left, then Grace Munger bagged a long range triple to close the gap to 18-15 at half.

Burres’ three-ball starting the third brought the Panthers back to even at 18-18, but Beck’s score inside and Miller’s three-point play put Pettisville back on top by five.

Khloe Weber’s three-point play started an 8-2 Delta run that was finished with Abbey Todd on the receiving end of a baseball pass for a layup and a 26-25 Delta lead with 3:15 left in the third.

Grace Crawford scored on a fast break basket a minute later that began a back-and-forth run of no less than eight lead changes deep into the fourth.

The Blackbirds’ 13-16 foul shooting in the last quarter was countered by Delta shooting 54 percent from the floor.

The last pair of lead transitions came when Ellie Grieser canned two from the line to put the Birds up 39-38 with 3:04 left.

That lead lasted all of six seconds as Weber hit Munger in stride for a layup that got the Panthers up for good.

After Weber went 1-2 from the stripe, Kendall Sprow scored in transition to make it 43-39 with 21 seconds left.

Crawford came right back with a layup plus one with 12.2 to go to shave the margin to 43-42 but one last time Munger came through hitting 2-2 at the line with 7.5 on the clock.

“She struggled early on, but in the second half and at the end at the foul line, she was there when we really needed her,” Gillen said of Munger. “You can’t ask anymore out of her. She’s a great player and she hit a pair when we needed them.”

Pettisville didn’t really get a good shot off after.

Munger led all scorers with 13 points. Weber added 11.

Crawford notched 10 for Pettisville.

By Joe Blystone

For the Expositor