Saturday, December 31st, 2011
By Gary R. Rasberry
Panthers capture tourney championship and match last year's victory total
Chatt Insurance Holiday Tournaments
  ROCKFORD - The Parkway girls' basketball team pushed their winning streak to three games after knocking off Lincolnview 50-40 on Friday night in the championship game of the Chatt Insurance Holiday Tournament.
"Last year, we didn't win all the games we were supposed to win," said Parkway's coach Jeff Kallas, whose team matched the win total from all of last season. "This year, we're winning the games we're supposed to win and, really, no one thought we'd beat Lincolnview (4-5 with the loss). That's a game I consider one we shouldn't have won. I told them 'We're not supposed to win this one. We've won games we're supposed to, now let's win a game we're not supposed to.'"
The Panthers did most of their damage in the first half while Lincolnview struggled with frigid shooting. The Lancers were just 4-of-28 from the field in the first 16 minutes of play and Parkway built a 27-9 lead by halftime. Parkway's Becca Harshman matched the Lancers' point total by herself with nine points in the first half.
"First half, we couldn't put anything in," said Lancers' coach Dan Williamson. "They were doing a good job pushing the ball up the floor and we didn't get back. We knew they were very athletic and going to attack the rim. They did a great job of that."
The big lead turned out to be much-needed, as the Lancers found the other basket a bit more hospitable when the teams changed ends after halftime.
Things got real interesting at the end of the game, as the Lancers hit some three-pointers to close to within eight points. However, the Panthers hit their free throws down the stretch to hold off Lincolnview.
Kallas attributed Lincolnview's comeback to one primary reason: Parkway hasn't had the chance to defend a lead too much over the last few seasons.
"We're not used to playing with the lead," said Kallas. "We're hardly ever in the lead. The last couple of games we have struggled with that. That's something we need to keep working on.
"Effort-wise, up and down the court and hitting the boards, I can't ask for anything else," added Kallas.
Harshman, who pulled down 13 rebounds on Thursday and set the two-game tournament record with 28 rebounds, earned Most Valuable Player honors after scoring 18 points against the Lancers.
"She picked up the points. She handled the pressure (Harshman brought the ball up the court often). Hitting the boards. That's huge!" said Kallas.
Haley Burtch scored 15 points to earn a spot on the all-tournament team along with Haley Roehm, who tied the tourney record on Thursday with 24 points, but was held to five on Friday.
Katie Dye, who scored 21 points on Thursday, bucketed 15 to lead the Lancers against Parkway and earned all-tournament honors while Carley Springer added 14 points.
River Valley defeated winless Fairlawn 69-35 in the consolation contest.
Ashley Salyer led the Vikings with 20 points to earn a spot on the all-tournament team. Abby Guinther scored 12 with Raven Phelps adding 11.
Haley Slonkosky led the Jets with 15 points to take the final spot on the all-tournament team.
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