Execution lifts Panthers over frustrated Hawks
By Jacob Heid
STEVENS POINT — The SPASH girls’ basketball team kept their season momentum rolling at the start of the Sentry Classic on Dec. 28. The Panthers scored points in a hurry in the opening half, staying efficient throughout the remainder of the game. They took control and never looked back, winning 77-56 over Greenfield.
SPASH started in an early 7-0 hole, forced to call a timeout a minute and a half into the game. After that, the Panthers stole the momentum and poured in points at an impressive clip. Senior Tahlia Moe drilled a three-pointer from the wing that put SPASH up by three, 23-20, with seven minutes left in the first half. Reese Ryan showed spurts of playmaking, using her footwork in the post to score points.
SPASH would go on a 10-3 run, finished off by Ryan’s free throws, leading by ten, 33-23, with five minutes remaining. Ryan finished the game with 11 points. The halftime lead would increase to 15 for the Panthers, 45-30, with momentum on their side. Senior Emma Jossie already made a mark in the first half, but her second-half performance stood out from the rest. She made the most of her perimeter looks early on, hitting a few triples to extend the SPASH lead to 54-38 with 13:30 left in the game. Jossie ended with her fingerprints all over the stat sheet. She had 23 points with two three-pointers, nine rebounds, and seven assists.
Greenfield would come within single digits of SPASH, but senior Brittany Beadles used her shot to put the lead back to ten. That was enough to pour on more points, putting the advantage back to 20-plus. The D2 track & field commit moved nicely without the ball, getting open looks on all three levels. She finished the night with 12 points and one three-pointer. Adaleah Nest and Moe combined for 20 points in the backcourt as well.
SPASH improved to 7-3 with the win, playing again on Dec. 29 at 5:15 against Fond Du Lac. You can follow sports reporter Jacob Heid’s Twitter updates on the Sentry Classic at JacobHeid_15.