By Lori Brown
MONTICELLO February 14, 2006 The Monticello Lady Panthers were triumphant over the visiting Chester Lady Hambletonians in Friday nights non-league basketball game.
Monticello (10-7) came on strong, continued with much motivation throughout the game and recorded a 51-25 victory.
After six minutes into the game, Chesters Amanda Benitez put her team on the scoreboard with a basket.
But at the end of the first quarter, the Lady Panthers enjoyed a 13-2 lead.
During the second period, Monticello extended its lead to 27-7. The 20-point lead was due in large part to the Monties employing a press defense throughout the entire first half.
In the third quarter, the teams exchanged baskets. Then Monticellos Brittany Morse and Ana Rivera each scored to increase their teams lead to 39-13.
Chester Coach Alexis Fibble called a timeout with two minutes remaining in the third quarter. After talking to her players, they scored four points to end the third quarter. With Monticello leading 39-17 at the end of the stanza, the Lady Hambletonians knew they had to play aggressively in the last quarter.
In the fourth period, Monticellos Nicole Fox racked up six points, while Chesters Megan Monroe netted four points. But Chester (4-12) could not get the momentum to stop the Lady Panthers.
Fibble said, tonight wasnt my team on the court.
They were physically here, but not mentally, she added.
Amanda Benitez led the Chester offense with seven points, while Monroe and Deena Lise each added six points.
My team played press defense in the first half very efficiently, which I think had given Chester a problem, Monticello Coach Karen Atack said.
She mentioned the statistics for some of the players who played well. Atack first noted the performance of senior Nicole Fox, who scored 13 points, grabbed six rebounds and made four steals. The veteran coach also praised Liila Mack (10 points, 12 rebounds, three steals and two assists) and Ana Rivera (six points, six steals, five assists and four rebounds).