Phantoms build big lead, hold off furious rally by Hawks
By Murray Gleffe
DE PERE—The West De Pere Phantoms’ girls basketball team built a 20-point second half late and hung on to defeat the Shawano Hawks, Jan. 4, by a final of 53-44.
Sydney Appleton led four Phantoms (8-4, 6-0 Bay) in double figures with 13 points.
Casey Jepson added 11, while Alivia McNabb and Alexa Thomson each chipped in with 10.
“I was pleased with the balanced scoring we had today,” said Chris Abaray, West De Pere coach. “We contained Reed and De Perry from going way off and forced them to make tough shots all night.”
The Hawks (7-5, 5-1 Bay) were led in scoring by Rachel Reed who had 15, and Saginaw Valley St. commit Tori DePerry was held to 11.
The Phantoms jumped out to an early 18-14 lead behind three early treys by Appleton in a matchup of frontrunners in the Bay Conference.
Despite De Perry scoring seven early points, West De Pere made it difficult each time an entry pass made it into the paint by doubling and even triple teaming her.
With under a minute left in the half, McNabb ended the first stanza with a flurry. First, she had an old-fashioned three-point play, and then with just seconds left stole a Hawks pass out on the perimeter and went coast-to-coast for a layup to extend the Phantoms margin to 33-23 at intermission.
The Phantoms went on a 9-2 spurt to start half number two to blow the game wide open.
Seven of those nine were by Thomson who energized the offense.
With 6:15 left in the contest, and West De Pere holding a 50-30 lead, it appeared the game was well in hand for the home team.
Then just like that the Hawks scratched and clawed back in the game with a full court press and a plethora of triples from well beyond the arc.
Suddenly in the span of four minutes, Shawano had closed the margin to 50-42, and there was still 2:17 left on the game clock.
“We didn’t execute our offense effectively down the stretch,” added Abaray. “We had too many turnovers with our starters in there and defensively didn’t jump out on their shooters.”
Fortunately for the Phantoms, time ran out on the Hawks as West De Pere was able to connect on three free throws down the stretch to stay in first place.
“This was a big win for us,” said Jepson. “We knew coming in it would be a tough game and we just played together the whole night.”
Shawano: 23, 21—44
West De Pere: 33, 20—53
Hawks: Reed 15, DePerry 11, Klemens 7, Buschman 4, Ward 3, Waupekenay 2, Beyer 2
Phantoms: Appleton 13, Jepson 11, McNabb 10, Thomson 10, Eggart 6, Baeten 3