The Panthers (3-1, 1-0 WSC) held the young Middies to just four points each in the first, second and fourth quarters and forced 27 turnovers — 19 with a three-quarter court zone press in the first half. Midview shot only once, unsuccessfully, from the foul line.
Elyria Catholic got a combined 25 points from two of its four seniors — 13 by post Karissa McGrath and 12 by guard Brittney McNamara — and the Panthers got eight points each from senior forward Erin Herschelman and freshman guard Josie Carandang. McNamara and Carandang each nailed two of the team’s four 3-pointers.
Look at the scoreboard and perhaps the outlook is grim for the Middies (0-2, 0-1). But check out the bigger picture and there is reason for optimism. Including freshman and junior varsity action, Elyria Catholic and Midview played three games Wednesday night, and the Middies won the freshman and JV games comfortably.
Middies coach Scott Plzak said the future could be bright.
“We’re young and I have people in over their heads,” he said. “The girls want it, so we have that. We just have to gain experience. We have to get out there and play. It’s a matter of confidence, too, because they tend to be a little tentative out there. On occasion, we do things the right way and we can do that again. We’ll get there. It’s a process.”
Other bright spots for the Middies included cutting turnovers from 19 in the first half to eight in the second and staying with the Panthers on the backboards, 37-38.
Midview started two juniors and three sophomores. Junior Molly Linn scored the Middies’ first field goal on a drive to the basket with 3:48 left in the first quarter. Less than a minute later, she scored again to complete the team’s only two-basket run of the game. With 10 points, Linn was the only Midview player to finish in double figures.
Otherwise the game was a mismatch, which doesn’t mean it wasn’t valuable for the Panthers, Herschelman said.
“I’m really more of a defensive player, but I hit a couple shots tonight and that’s all I can ask for,” said the 5-foot-7 Herschelman, who missed most of last season with a right-knee injury. “My knee is doing absolutely fine. I’ve had no problems with it — knock on wood.”
“I love Erin Herschelman,” Elyria Catholic coach Eric Rothgery said. “She’s a great kid, a great student, a good leader — I mean, all those things. She works hard and now she’s getting some minutes, she deserves them and I’m glad when she’s successful.”
Elyria Catholic’s starting freshmen — Carandang (8) and Schill (7) — combined for 15 points, six of Schill’s coming in the Panthers’ 21-point third quarter.
“I really just wanted to get the ball and work it around and get us scoring, because I know we have to prepare for the game Friday (against WSC rival Vermilion),” Schill said. “We wanted to focus on running our plays in a game like this to prepare us for the future.”
Contact Bob Daniels at 329-7135 or firstname.lastname@example.org.