Saturday, December 30th, 2017
Panthers denied Chatt titles
Chatt Insurance Holiday Tournament
By Gary R. Rasberry
ROCKFORD - Parkway's hopes to sweep the boys' and girls' championships at the Chatt Insurance Holiday Tournament were thwarted in different ways.
The Panther girls went toe-to-toe with Ridgemont, but missed free throws down the stretch and a layup by Meadow Cromer with just under two seconds remaining in the second overtime gave the Golden Gophers a 61-59 win to snap the Panthers' five-game win streak.
In the boys' final, Graham's patient style of play and Parkway's struggles on offense allowed the Falcons to claim the championship with a 51-33 win in the final game of the evening.
Ridgemont 61, Parkway 59 (2 OT)
The Gophers and Panthers battled back-and-forth throughout the game with 13 lead changes and six ties.
Ridgemont (6-6) led 36-35 after three quarters, only to have Parkway quickly regain the lead on a Sophia Miller bucket. After a trading of leads, Sydney Crouch converted an old-fashioned three-point play with 5:31 left in regulation. The Panthers kept the Gophers at bay for as long as possible by answering their points, but a missed free throw with 38 seconds left that would have put Parkway up by two was answered by Priscilla Howland making a free throw with 12 seconds left to tie the game at 46. Haley Hawk missed a shot for the win. Crouch rebounded and was fouled with 4.9 seconds, but she missed both free throws as the game headed into overtime.
"One thing I told the girls (is) that they don't give up," Parkway coach Linda Hawk said.
Parkway (7-4) missed six free throws in the first two minutes of the first extra session. Howland broke the tie with 1:56 left with one free throw and later added a bucket to make it a three-point game with 90 seconds remaining. Bates finally broke the skid with a pair of free throws and later Crouch added one to tie the game at 49-all with 51 seconds left. Jen Jordan hit two free throws with 18.8 seconds to put Ridgemont back in front 51-49, but Miller hit a bucket with four seconds left to tie the game for a second overtime.
Bates started the second overtime with a bucket, but Howland converted a hoop-and-harm three-pointer seconds later to put the Gophers up 54-53. Crouch scored with 1:29 to go to put the Panthers up by one. Ten seconds later, Cromer tied the game with a free throw and after a Parkway turnover, Cromer added a second free throw to put Ridgemont in front with 67 seconds left. Parkway regained the lead with a Crouch free throw with 54.6 seconds before Howland was fouled. Howland made the first free throw but missed the second. Nadia Martino got the rebound and passed to Shaylee McGrath, who was fouled with 30 seconds left. McGrath made the free throw to make the score 58-57. Seconds later, Jordan hit a free throw to make it a 59-57 game. Shaelyn Thomas, who came in to play in the overtime for Parkway, tied the game with five seconds left. Ridgemont decided to forgo the timeout and threw the ball down where Cromer got the layup with 1.9 seconds to go to put the Gophers in front. Leah Harshman's three-point try from midcourt bounced off the rim as time expired.
"We missed 8-10 free throws at the end (Parkway was 13-of-27 from the floor) and didn't make many smart decisions," coach Hawk said. "It pretty much cost us the game. We played well but we missed a couple girls being open and didn't box out at the end on a free throw."
Faith Jenkins led Ridgemont with 14 points, earning Most Valuable Player of the tournament honors. Cromer added 13 and Howland, who was also selected to the All-Tournament Team and Jordan each had 12.
Hawk finished with 19 points and was joined on the All-Tournament Team by Crouch, who finished with 16. Lincolnview's Alena Looser and Kayla Schimmoeller rounded out the six-player tournament team.
Parkway hosts Versailles on Thursday.
Graham 51, Parkway 33
Neither team could get a handle on their respective offense to start the game. Tyler Powell of Graham scored the first bucket of the game with 6:32 left in the first quarter. It took Parkway nearly half a quarter before Mason Baxter knocked down a trey to put the Panthers up 3-2. Graham took the lead for good with 3:25 to play in the first quarter on a Matt Goddard bucket. Parkway would tie the game at 7-7 early in the second quarter on a Logan Huff basket, but Powell quickly put the Falcons (4-5) back in front to stay with a bucket. The Panthers stayed close, but the slow style of play stymied Parkway's usually uptempo pace as Graham led 20-15 at the half.
"I think we didn't do a good job of executing," Parkway coach Doug Hughes. "I'm not sure (if) this game or our other lossess has much to do with offense as much as our defense. We're struggling to guard."
The Falcons put the Panthers away with a 12-4 third quarter run as Goddard scored eight of Graham's points in the session, including two on the first of two dunks from the 6-5 senior. Parkway nearly went 4 1/2 minutes before scoring when Caleb Kinney got a stickback and it was another three minutes before Preston Stober scored the other two Panther points.
Parkway was just 12-of-43 from the field (27 percent) compared to the Falcons' 51 percent shooting (18-of-35).
"Graham definitely slowed it up on us," Hughes said. "Their possessions in the second half took a minute off the clock and they were getting good looks"
Goddard finished with 19 points and 10 rebounds to earn Most Valuable Player honors. Powell finished with 15 points and joined Goddard on the All-Tournament Team.
Baxter (11 points) and Kinney (10) points represented Parkway on the All-Tournament Team. Rounding out the squad was Grove City Christian's Noah Tomlinson and Ridgemont's Jayden Streets.
Parkway is back in action next Friday at Versailles.