No. 11 Lady Panthers extend winning streak to eight
KINGSLEY — The Kingsley-Pierson girls basketball team picked up their eighth consecutive win as the Class 1A No. 11 ranked Lady Panthers took down Lawton-Bronson 65-47 on Tuesday.
The two teams were evenly matched in the first quarter as the score was tied at 11 by the end of the first eight minutes. From there, the Panthers rattled off the next 11 points and maintained a sizable cushion the rest of the way. The lead could have been bigger but the team missed several shots close to the basket. K-P Head Coach Nicole Goodwin said it’s all about finishing at the rim.
“They’re a strong team so we have to learn how to make sure we’re finishing even though we’re getting hacked or bumped,” Goodwin said. “It went both ways, but they sat in a zone that second half so then that’s going to stop your inside game and we were able to do a little bit more movement on offense to find that weak side and we found the weak side. We did a good job adjusting to their defense.”
McKenzie Goodwin was able to clean up some of those missed shots as eight of her 10 rebounds were on the offensive glass. She turned those opportunities into points and ended with 15 for the game on 6-of-9 shooting. She also led the team with five assists.
The Eagles hung around for much of the third quarter, using a pair of 3-pointers from Rylee Wagner to get to within 37-30 and force a timeout from the Panthers. The margin stayed about the same the rest of the quarter before a quick start to the fourth extended the lead out again. Delaney Iseminger hit one of her four 3-pointers to open the fourth and Jayde Barto followed with a bucket. All 12 of Iseminger’s points came from beyond the arc.
Goodwin said the offense got into a rhythm with their fast-break approach after adjusting on defense.
“They did a great job of executing their offense, setting a ton of screens, so we kind of got stuck quite a bit on screens, but once we started talking a bit more it helped and then we were able to get a few stops there and get our fast-break going,” Goodwin said. “We probably didn’t execute our offense like I’d like to, but we did start finding that weak-side player and making the extra pass so then good things happened.”
Barto led the Panthers with 19 points on 9-of-17 shooting. Still, Barto said there were things to improve upon.
“Tonight, I’m not going to lie, I struggled quite a bit on the shooting aspect, but it was nice because my teammates were able to get it to me and there were enough fast breaks where I could beat the defender and get to the rim,” Barto said.
Brooklyn Beery scored eight points and had eight rebounds for the team as she was the team’s only other player with multiple field goal makes.
The win was the fifth straight for the Panthers over their Western Valley Conference foe including beating the Eagles earlier in the season by a 76-42 score.
Following the game, the team’s first home contest in nearly a month, the Panthers recognized Barto for her recent achievements of surpassing 1,000 career points and 500 career rebounds. Barto said it’s a great accomplishment.
“It means the world to me, especially with the group of girls that I get to be with,” Barto said. “If I would have told my past self that this was going to happen, I would have never believed it. It’s just a very fulfilling goal to me.”
The Panthers are now 11-1 on the season and are scheduled to play at Woodbury Central on Friday. Goodwin said she hopes the team continues working hard to keep pushing for their goal of a deep postseason run.
“This is the time that you start building,” Goodwin said. “You don’t want to peak yet and we’re not there. We’re only about half way and we’re still building up to the end of the season.”
K-P: Points- Barto 19, Goodwin 15, Iseminger 12, Beery 8, Collins 4, Kraft 3, Bohle 2, Dunne 2.