Photos courtesy Nichole Olinger
A fundamentally sound Eastland Lady Cougar club used strong second and third quarters on Monday to defeat the EP Lady Panthers 45-28. Strong defense by Eastland and poor shooting by the Panthers combined to give the visitors a 26-10 scoring advantage in the middle two quarters and send the Panthers to their 11 loss against 9 wins.
EP led most of the first quarter on the strength of the shooting of Reagan Sibley and Sydney Schwartz. Schwartz would be the top scorer for EP with 8 points including a three-ball. The Panther trailed 12-11 after one but unfortunately, that would be their biggest offensive quarter of the game as they managed just 6 points in the second and did not score until the 2:40 mark.
Eastland would take a 26-17 lead at half and continue to pull away in the third quarter. A three-point play by Olivia Purvis early in the third made it a 28-20 contest but the Panthers would not score again until just over one minute remained in the quarter.
The teams played an even fourth frame with the Cougars substituting freely in the final eight minutes.
Lady panther coach Chris Brown put it simply, “We struggled tonight.”
The Panthers inability to score in the middle part of contests has been a problem throughout the season. “We didn’t shoot well from the floor or the line. Communication needs to improve and lack of execution on offense were a problem, which falls on me,” said Brown. “I need to have the girls better prepared as we play a very good Monmouth-Roseville club on Thursday.”
Th Panthers had just 8 buckets in the game and went 11/19 from the line. Eastland, 15-7 on the season, went 10/13 from the charity stripe.
The Lady Panthers host Monmouth-Roseville on Thursday.
The F/S lost a nip and tuck contest 32-26.