Tinley Graves of Marysville tries to save the ball from going out-of-bounds against Hilliard Darby on Monday. (Journal-Tribune photo by Tim Miller)
Although the outcome of Monday evening’s game against Hilliard Darby didn’t turn out the way she wanted, Marysville High School girls basketball coach Brooke Young was encouraged by her team’s improvement.
“I really felt that we rebounded the ball better than we did last Friday at Hilliard Bradley,” said Young after Darby’s 47-45 victory.
“We got to experience going up against a true post player (Darby’s 6-2 junior center Sofia Gentile) and we’re going to need that experience as the season progresses.
“We’re not there yet, but we’re improving.”
The Panthers hit the Lady Monarchs (0-2) with an inside-outside scoring game.
Gentile tallied 16 points, with several coming on the offensive boards, while guard Tayen Brown scored 14.
The game was tight the entire way with the biggest leads by either team being five, six or seven-point margins by Darby during several possessions of the second and third quarters.
The Lady Monarchs displayed a lot of grit in battling back to take the lead during later stages of the contest.
The opening quarter was typical of an early-season game as both squads exchanged turnovers and missed shot opportunities.
MHS took an early 5-4 lead on a jumper from Haley Cook and later held a 9-6 edge when Karleigh Sutter scored on the offensive glass.
Alyssa Strahm fed the ball to Sydney Lee for a jumper that gave Marysville an 11-8 advantage with less than a minute to play in the quarter.
Brown then hit a pair of free throws as the Panthers narrowed their deficit to 11-10.
Neither team could lay claim to a strong upper hand throughout the second stanza.
Gentile climbed the boards for a stickback that stretched Darby’s biggest lead of the game to 21-14 with 1:58 left until halftime.
Cook hit a basket and Sydney Lee knocked down a pair of charity tosses.
Tinley Graves swished a trifecta right before the buzzer to pull MHS to within 22-21 at the turn.
The Lady Monarchs had some good looks at the bucket throughout the third period, but several shots refused to fall.
Those empty possessions enabled the Panthers to pull out to a 34-28 margin with 3:30 left in the quarter.
Kass Lee scored in transition and then sank a free throw to narrow the gap to 34-31.
She scored once again to slice the deficit to 34-33.
Sutter swooped in, swiped the ball and converted it into a basket.
That shot gave MHS a 35-34 edge at the end of the third quarter.
Graves buried one of her four three-pointers to push the Lady Monarchs out to a 38-36 margin early in the fourth period.
Gentile tied the game at 38-all with a stickback.
The teams traded empty possessions until Cook’s free throw returned a 39-38 lead to Marysville.
The Panthers took a 43-41 lead after Bella Heaton hit two free throws and knocked down a three-ball.
Kass Lee hit a charity toss with 1:15 left to play, but the 43-42 score was as close as the Lady Monarchs got.
Time was on Darby’s side and MHS had to foul in order to stop the clock.
The Panthers sank several free throws that pushed their lead to 47-42 with 7.1 seconds to play.
Graves then buried a three-pointer right before the final buzzer.
Gentile 7-2-16, Brown 3-8-14, Heaton 3-2-9, Williams 0-3-3, Rasul 1-1-3, Thomas 0-1-1, Powers 0-1-1. Totals 14-18-47.
Three-point goal: Heaton 1.
Graves 4-0-12, K. Lee 2-4-8, Cook 3-1-7, Sloan 2-3-7, S. Lee 2-2-6, Sutter 2-1-5, Hazelbaker 0-0-0, Cotner 0-0-0, Strahm 0-0-0. Totals 15-11-45.
Three-point goals: Graves 4.
The MHS jayvees improved to 2-0 with an 88-27 verdict during the preliminary game.
Cam Lee led the Jr. Monarchs with 15 points, while Ava Krutowski, Leah Brown and Emma Ingle each tallied 13.
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