St. Croix Central girls sting Glenwood City with large second half comeback
The offense came to life in the second half on Monday and it carried the St. Croix Panthers to a huge comeback victory.
The Panthers trailed Glenwood City 25-14 at halftime. The Panther offense got rolling and they took the lead midway through the fourth quarter. The Panthers then held on to score a 38-37 win over the Hilltoppers.
The win leaves the Panthers in a tie with Boyceville for third place in the Dunn-St. Croix Conference standings with a 7-3 record. This is the Panthers' third straight win, which raises their overall record to 9-6.
Glenwood City started hitting outside shots almost immediately in Monday's game and by the end of the first quarter the Panthers were facing a double-digit deficit. The Panthers couldn't gain any ground in the second quarter.
At halftime the Panther coaches elected to switch out of their zone defense. This helped the Panthers to get to the perimeter to harass the Toppers' outside shooters.
While Glenwood City's outside game went silent in the second half, Central's spoke volumes. It started when senior Jordan Risberg drained a three-pointer on Central's first possession of the second half.
Central point guard Nikki Brooks was able to find more room to drive to the basket in the second half. This resulted in several hoops. It also gave her the chance to kick the ball out to Risberg and Ashley Adkins on the perimeter. Risberg and Adkins combined for five three-pointers in the second half.
Central led by four points down the stretch, before Glenwood City hit a three-pointer and the teams traded free throws. The Toppers got the ball with 3.5 seconds remaining and were able to get a short-range last shot, but it missed the mark.
Brooks led the Panthers with 16 points and seven rebounds in the win.
Last Friday the Panthers were 44-28 winners at Spring Valley, as the teams started the second half of the D-SC schedule.
The Panthers led 22-14 at halftime, but the Cards wouldn't let them pull away until late in the game.
The outside shooting of Adkins and Risberg was a key component in this win. They combined for 25 points. Central coach Luke Fritsche said Adkins drove to the basket as well and the entire offense was clicking.
"We ran our motion offense as well as we have all season," he said.
Taylor Refsnider led the Panthers with seven rebounds and three steals on Friday.
Last Tuesday the Panthers went to Elmwood and scored a 39-26 win over a stubborn Raider team. The Panthers are the leading free throw percentage team in the D-SC and the team made drawing fouls a focal point in this game. It turned out to be a huge factor, with the Panthers making 18-24 free throw attempts. Brooks went 9-12 from the line and Laura DeSmith hit all five of her free throw attempts.
Brooks led the Panthers with 15 points at Elmwood and Adkins scored 11 points. Brooks played another huge floor game with eight rebounds, three assists and three steals.
The Panthers have two challenging games on the horizon. On Thursday they will make the trip to Mondovi. The Panthers play at home next Tuesday, against Elk Mound.