By Lori Brown
MONTICELLO January 11, 2008 On Wednesday night, the Monticello Lady Panthers hosted the Liberty Lady Indians in a non-league basketball game.
Neither team had earned a victory so far this season, so both squads were eager to record that first “W.”
At the end of 32 minutes of play, the Lady Panthers prevailed by the final score of 50-34.
With the win, Monticello improved its record to 1-7. Liberty dropped to 0-8.
Monticello took a 9-0 lead in the first two minutes of the game.
However, Liberty did not give up and continued to play hard. Angela Giacalone finally put the Lady Indians on the scoreboard with a foul shot.
The Lady Panthers played aggressive defense during the next two minutes. Polly Palhano made two consecutive baskets after stealing the ball to extend the Monties’ lead.
Liberty’s Ceara Williams made the next three baskets to close the gap on the scoreboard.
At the end of the first quarter, Monticello enjoyed a 20-7 advantage.
The Lady Panthers added to their lead slightly in the second period to take a 32-17 advantage at halftime.
Both teams played very well defensively in the third quarter. Monticello outscored Liberty, 6-4 in the the frame to grab a 37-21 advantage heading into the final eight minutes of play.
Palhano scored just four seconds into the fourth period and teammate Jasmine Moore added three consecutive baskets moments later to push the Lady Panthers’ lead to 45-23.
Later in the frame, Liberty’s Angela Giacalone swished a 3-point shot and Williams added a conventional hoop as the Lady Indians pulled a bit closer on the scoreboard.
Liberty Coach Tom LaGattuta said that the Monticello team “was very quick and much faster than ours.
“They took an early lead,” he added. “We closed the gap, but it wasn’t enough. The girls played hard and did well, but Monticello had a very aggressive press on us.”
Williams scored a team-high 16 points, while Giacalone added seven points for the Lady Indians.
Moore and Palhano led the Lady Panthers to victory. Moore recorded a triple-double of 15 points, 12 rebounds and 10 steals and Palhano had nine points, 14 rebounds and nine steals.
Kéarya Sanders added 14 points, six rebounds and four steals for the Monties.
Monticello Coach Karen Atack was excited about the first win of the season as well as her team’s performance.
“Today we had tremendous teamwork and hustle,” Atack said. “Everyone got to play tonight.
“We have been working hard on our fundamentals and improving,” she added.