On Dec. 18, the Pahranagat Valley High School Panthers hosted in-county rival Lincoln County.
After trailing 17-12 at halftime, Coach Amy Huntsman said she knew Lincoln County was inexperienced on handling the full-court press, “so we made the adjustment at halftime, talked about playing with more intensity and wanting the game more. We threw the press on them in the third quarter, and it helped us get back in the game.”
Lincoln held on for a 37-33 win, but the Panthers certainly made them work for it.
“In our locker room,” Huntsman said, “they decided to step it up, and I think if we play four quarters like that, we will be tough to beat. We are getting better and have already seen so much improvement in the last two weeks. Just have to work on fundamentals and gel more as a team.”
Meanwhile, Lincoln Coach Duane Wadsworth said it was the best game for guard Hailey Hooge. She led the Lynx in the first half with eight of her 13 points. In the second half, forward Kendra Mathews scored 10 of her game- high 17 points in the Lynx’s 37-33 win.
“Kendra is big for us,” Wadsworth said. “She’s got to score that many for us to succeed.”
PVHS employed the full-court press to start the third quarter, which disrupted Lincoln and got the Panthers back into the game. Taylor Higbee and Jessica Brede each scored six points in the second half as did Morgan Harris, who got six of her game-high 14 points.
By 6:48 of the fourth quarter, PVHS had closed what had been a 10-point gap to two, 28-26, and again at 31-29, with 3:18 remaining. But they could get no closer than 33 points, and the Lynx hit three of four free throws in the final minute to seal the win.
Pahranagat was three of six at the foul line, and Lincoln was 11-of-23.
Pahranagat Valley (2-7) closed out the pre-holiday schedule hosting Moapa Valley (6-4) Dec. 21 and will play one game at Lake Mead on Dec. 29.
Lincoln County (4-6) played at Needles and Laughlin, Dec. 20-21, and will be off until they host Calvary Chapel, Jan. 8.
On Dec. 13, in Alamo, the Lady Panthers avenged an earlier season loss, edging the Wells Leopards, 36-33. It was PVHS’ second win of the season.
They had lost to Wells, 49-34, at the Wells Rural Electric tournament in November.
A low-scoring game, this second meeting of the teams was tied at 22 with 1:26 remaining in the third quarter.
Pahranagat took the lead, 24-22, at 7:41 in the fourth quarter, a lead they never gave up.
Wells fought back, drawing to within 33-31 with 24 seconds remaining.
McKenzie Poulsen hit a shot for the Panthers for a 35-31 lead with 18 seconds left, and Morgan Harris made one of two free throws with three seconds left in the game.
Harris was game-high with 20 points. Jessica Brede had nine. Pahranagat was 19-for-33 at the foul line.