By Nathan Mayberg
LIBERTY December 24, 2004 The visiting Monticello Lady Panthers defeated the Liberty Lady Indians 39-19 Wednesday night in a spirited game from start to finish.
Both teams played tenacious defense all the way through the non-league contest. However, the Panthers were better able to execute their offense. The game was full of turnovers, mostly due to the unending pressure of the two defenses.
The Panthers were led by Victoria Carter and Nicole Fox, each of whom each contributed eight points. Nicole Christopher added seven points, while Ana Rivera chipped in with six.
For Liberty, Jackie Katzenberg led the way with seven points, including a 3-pointer, and one long two-point field goal in which her toe was slightly on the 3-point line. Keely Hamlin added six points, while Marla Egan put forth an all-around solid effort with four points.
The Panthers held a 2-0 lead for more than six minutes in the first quarter. The first two points were recorded by Liila Mack, who was off to a quick start, including two quick steals early. She was one of a number of players in the game to finish with multiple steals.
After the first quarter, the score was 4-0 in favor of the Lady Panthers. In the second quarter, the Monties became more aggressive inside the lane and began to pull away from Liberty.
The Lady Indians also turned up their play in the second quarter. Their passing improved, but they could not match up with the scoring of the Lady Panthers, who pulled away to an 18-6 lead at halftime.
Liberty did not give in, and charged back onto the court in the second half, with a 3-pointer by Katzenberg. Soon after her basket, she picked up one of her many steals of the night.
But Mack responded with a basket inside. The Lady Panthers picked up nearly all of their points by driving to the net.
Although the Lady Indians were able to pick up a lot of steals in the quarter, particularly by Egan, Monticello matched them. The Lady Panthers were better able to hit their shots and thus took a 29-13 lead into the final quarter.
In the fourth period, the Lady Panthers had a succession of breakaway layups. Carter dominated the quarter, as Monticello recorded a 20-point victory.
Intensity-wise, we have come a long way, Monticello Coach Karen Atack said.
Atack noted that she was pleased with the way her team, contained Hamlin, whom she called an awesome player.
The veteran coach referred to her teams ability to defend Hamlin as the big difference of the game. She gave credit to the Lady Indians for their effort.
Liberty Coach Tom LaGattuta was impressed with the Lady Panthers athleticism.
Their press took us out of the game, he said.
While LaGattuta noted that his teams shooting could have been better, he felt that Monticellos defense was a big reason for those shooting woes.
I give Monticello all the credit, LaGattuta commented. They kept coming after us.