Panthers control second half to top Rebels, 75-48

Published 10:07 pm Friday, December 21, 2018

NEW RICHLAND—The NRHEG and United South Central girls’ basketball teams met Friday night in a Gopher Conference showdown.

It was a closely contested game throughout much of the first half. However, the Panthers dominated in the second half, taking control of the game and beating the Rebels 75-48.

United South Central sophomore Katie Dylla got the scoring started for both teams with a driving step to the basket. Both teams struggled with ball control right out of the gate. The lead went back and forth in the early going of the first half, but scoring was hard to come by. After five minutes of gameplay, the score was 6-5 in favor of United South Central.

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Eighth-grader Sydney Schultz hit a three to take the lead for the Panthers, a lead in which they would hold onto for the rest of the half.

Both teams also fell into a lot of foul trouble early. One player who took advantage was United South Central senior Lizzy Baird who went to the free-throw line on three straight possessions, making all six of her shot attempts.

The Panthers continued to extend their lead thanks in large part to the play of senior Darian Pearson, who was a force on both ends of the court. Her rebounding scoring ability under the hoop was key for the Panthers through the rest of the half.

Sophomore Hannah Olson put the Rebels right back into the mix with back-to-back three pointers, but after coming back to within one point of the Panthers, the run stopped.

After going down with an injury earlier in the game sophomore Sarah Johns returned to the game with a burst of energy, pulling in multiple rebounds and scoring in the lane.

The Rebels and Panthers went to the halftime break with a fairly even score 34-30 in favor of the Rebels.

NRHEG came out in the second half and took complete control of the game.

Schultz played a big role in the offensive showing for the Panthers, setting up many teammates for shots and knocking a few down from deep herself.

NRHEG outscored United South Central 41-18 in the second half to secure the victory.

The Rebels fall to 1-6 on the season and will take a short break until after Christmas, when they travel to Blue Earth on Thursday for a four-team tournament.

The Panthers improve to 3-6 this year and will also return to action on Thursday when they host a four-team tournament featuring Alden-Conger/Glenville-Emmons and Albert Lea.

About Tyler Julson

Tyler Julson covers sports for the Albert Lea Tribune.

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