The Lady Panthers opened the 2020 playoffs with a win over Sesser-Valier/Waltonville that wasn't as close as the final score indicates. The Panthers led 12-8 after one quarter; 28-10 at halftime and 42-28 after three. They let Sesser slip back into the game in the fourth quarter when they were outscored 14-7.
"I thought we played really well for over three quarters of the game tonight," said Panther Head Coach Alan Engelhardt. "Kenzie (Rushing) was great at both getting to the rim and facilitating for her teammates. I thought Payton Morgan did a great job of sealing for her as well.
"Defensively, I thought we made them earn their points most of the game, which led to our big leads."
In the fourth quarter, however, Engelhardt noticed a drop in the energy level.
"We got passive," he said, "which is my fault. I need to get us to understand that playing for a great shot does not mean that we are looking to just hold the ball. That is something that we need to keep working on."
Still, Engelhardt said, "A win is always great this time of year, so we'll take it any way we can get it."
SCORINGQuarter-by-quarter: Pinckneyville, 12 16 14 07 49; Sesser-Valier/Waltonville, 08 10 10 14 42.
Panther scoring: Taylor Kurtz 2, Lily Tanner 5, Aubrey Bruns 2, Lily Britt 2, Kenzie Rushing 30, Payton Morgan 8.
Sesser scoring: Eastham 3, McCowen 8, Reynolds 6, Wilderman 10, Zahm 2, Page 13.
3-pointers: Pinckneyville 1 (Rushing); Sesser 5 (McCowen 2, Reynolds, Wilderman 2).
Next game: The 18-10 Lady Panthers take on the Nashville Lady Hornets at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Sesser regional. The game ends too late for our deadline.