Pekin starts season in win column
PACKWOOD – Just before heading into Thanksgiving break, the Pekin girls’ basketball team faced off against Louisa-Muscatine Tuesday in Packwood.
The Panthers got off to a sluggish start on offense as they were only able to manage one point through the first seven minutes. The Falcons didn’t have much luck finding the bottom of the net, either, as the score stood at 2-1. Pekin scored five straight points to end the quarter up 6-2.
Pekin continued its ferocious defense in the second quarter as Louisa-Muscatine once again managed only one made field goal and trailed 19-4 at the break. The Panthers’ offense found its high gear in quarter No. 3 when it put up 20 points and led the Falcons 39-12. Pekin was able to put its engine on cruise control for the final eight minutes to claim a victory, 50-19.
Eight Panthers scored, three in double digits. Junior Maci Gambell led the way in several statistical categories. She did most of her damage inside the arc where she went 4-8, but she also showed her range by hitting one of her two three-pointer attempts to finish with 17 points. She went 6-8 from the free-throw line, led the team in rebounds with 12 and picked the pocket of four Falcons.
Senior Kaylee Linder was an efficient 5-6 from the floor and made her only three-point shot on her way to scoring 11 points. She had two rebounds and an assist. Sophomore Zoey Wright proved she will be a fixture of Davis Eidahl’s club for years to come as she collected 10 points on 3-5 shooting, including 1-2 from long range. She made three of her four free throws, and had three rebounds and three assists.
Junior Faith Oostra gave the Panthers a boost off the bench. Oostra’s size and smart positioning allowed her to grab two offensive rebounds, and she made both her field goal attempts to finish with four points. Junior Whitney Johnson cashed in her only three-point shot while corralling two rebounds and dishing out one assist.
Sophomore Haley Gambell got the start and played an important role for Pekin under the hoop. Leaving the scoring for her teammates, she fought hard for rebounds, picking up five, while handing out two assists. She made a free throw for her only point. Senior Shea Dahlstrom was sneaky good as well, making her only field goal attempt while helping in other departments such as rebounding (three), assists (two) and steals (one). Junior Kennedy Coleman scored a bucket, too.
The Panthers finished with a terrific field goal percentage of 55 percent (18-33), and were particularly efficient from beyond the arc where they went 4-6 (67 percent). They shot 10-16 (63 percent) from the free-throw line.
Pekin will remain at home Tuesday for its next match against Cardinal, a very young team that has started the season with losses to Albia and West Burlington.