A hard-fought match against a formidable opponent took an unpleasant turn for the Woodward-Granger girls’ basketball team on Wednesday night.
It was at the second round of the class 2A regional basketball tournament where the Hawks’ (1-1) season came to a close at the hands of fellow WCAC foe the Panorama Panthers (1-0) in a 39-23 affair.
Early on during the Feb. 13 postseason game the Hawks not only kept pace with the host Panthers, but even took the lead before the half.
The night began with the visitors taking a 5-2 lead in the first four minutes, only to watch the home team put together a 5-1 run. The lead was taken back with a minute left when the Hawks closed out the first quarter on a 3-0 run.
In the second quarter the Hawks’ defense tightened the reins on the Panthers’ offense. They allowed Panorama just seven points to their eight to take a three point lead into the half, at 17-14.
The battle continued after halftime with both teams attempting to take the lead. It was back-and-forth for the first five minutes.
At 23-all it was still anyone’s game. Unbeknownst to the Hawks, those points would be the last offensive scoring of the night and ultimately the season.
“We gave them a good run. [It] started slipping away in last two minutes of the third quarter,” head coach Gary Dresback said.
For those final three minutes and the entire fourth quarter the Hawks’ offense just couldn’t maneuver past the Panthers’ defense.
After ending the third down 30-23, the Hawks saw their season slip away and eventually end with a Panthers’ 9-0 run.
Even though Dresback would’ve loved to have his team move on in the tournament, the head coach was elated with his team’s work ethic and overall improvement.
“We made great strides this year and improved constantly,” he said. “ We won 9 of our last 14 and we did it by improving as a team.”
Freshman Darby Nixon led the team in scoring with seven. Junior Natalie Helbling scored five while Katelyn Scharlau added four.
The trio of Lisa Pitman and Kayley Dresback, both seniors, along with sophomore Ava Peterson, each scored two points. Freshman Emma Anderson added one point.
Overall the Hawks finished this season with an 11-12 record, 6-9 in the conference, which tied them for eighth overall with the Madrid Tigers.