Jaguar girls top Panthers with stifling defense

Published 1:15 pm Wednesday, January 15, 2014

By JORDON SEMIEN/For the Reporter

SPAIN PARK— A tightly contested first quarter gave way to a defensive showcase as the Jaguars of Spain Park found their rhythm and beat the Pelham Panthers 48-20.

The first quarter opened with shooting struggles for both teams, as fouls would dictate the pace of the game. Spain Park was charged with two team fouls while Pelham hit four, all in the first five minutes of play, with the Jaguars winning the opening period 13-8.

The second quarter held more of the same for the Panthers. Before the end of the half, Pelham amassed 10 team fouls, including a technical foul on Emily Jackson. Referees assessed the foul to Jackson on top of a loose ball foul, leading to a 25 to 2 scoring run and a 26-10 lead at half for Spain Park. Jackson led the Panthers in scoring on the night, netting nine points in the game.

The Panthers showed their physicality in the second half, forcing early mistakes from the Jaguars. Within the first five minutes of the third quarter, Spain Park hit six team fouls, compared to Pelham’s five. Spain Park soundly won battle on the boards, out rebounding Pelham 36 to 20; Elizabeth Philpot was the driving force for the Panthers, grabbing a total of 13 rebounds to match her four points.

The fourth belonged to the Jaguars as they extended their lead. Victoria Baldwin led all scorers with 12 points paired with her five rebounds, while Christen Criag added six of her own. For the Panthers, Jordan Allison brought in six rebounds as Mekhi Mayfield and Erykah Hall combined for six rebounds.

The Panthers ran into trouble as the fouls started to compile, totaling eight for the team before the end of the period as Spain Park cinched their 48-20 victory at the free throw line.

After the game, Spain Park Head Coach Mike Chase took pride in his team’s performance on the backboards.

“We’ve pretty much have been doing that all year,” he said. “If we crash the boards and get second shots, limit them to one, it lets us get out on fast breaks.”

The Jaguars now prepare to host the Hornets of Chelsea on Jan.17