Panther girls tough out 33-21 win at home
PACKWOOD — Finishing games has been a struggle for the young Pekin girls’ basketball team all season, but it had no trouble finishing off visiting Louisa-Muscatine Friday.
The Panthers scored just 17 points in the first three quarters before pumping out 16 more in the fourth to earn a bruising 33-21 victory in Southeast Iowa Super Conference North action.
The Pekin girls had lost three straight games by five points or less prior to Friday’s win. The 12-point victory improved Pekin’s overall record to 7-9 and 7-8 in the SEISC North.
“We needed a win,” Pekin head coach Davis Eidahl said. “None of these girls have every played in this position before. They just don’t know how to finish because none of them played much last year.”
Junior Sam Wright led the Panthers with nine points off a trio of 3s, and freshman sister Gwynne Wright and Madelyn Baker totaled eight points apiece. Beth Atwood scored five and Monica Cooley rounded out the scoring with three.
The Panthers trailed 5-3 after the first period thanks to a slow start, but Samantha Wright hit two 3s and Gwynne Wright swished a third in the second quarter to help Pekin grab a 12-7 halftime lead.
Louisa-Muscatine pulled within 17-14 after three quarters, but Cooley scored the first two baskets in the fourth to up Pekin’s advantage to 20-14. Baker and Atwood scored a pair of baskets on back-to-back possessions, and the Panthers scored 13 additional points in the quarter’s final half.
“They’re learning, but I’ll tell you their attitude is the best I’ve had,” Eidahl added. “They work hard, and they’re just a good group. They’re getting better and getting a little experience.”
The Panthers hit the road for another conference matchup Tuesday at IMS.
Pekin vs. Louisa-Muscatine
L-M — 5 2 7 7 — 21
PEKIN — 3 9 5 16 — 33
PEKIN — Sam Wright 9, Gwynne Wright 8, Baker 8, Atwood 5, Cooley 3, Totals 10 9-16 33.
3-point goals — S. Wright 3, G. Wright 1. Rebounds — Baker 11. Assists — Baker 3. Steals — G. Wright 4. Blocks — Horras 1.