MAXWELL — The Hershey Lady Panthers had little trouble on Friday at Maxwell as they got their 16th win of the year against just three losses in an 85-23 win over the Lady Wildcats. In the boy’s game, Maxwell hung with the Panthers for a half, but two third-quarter Hershey runs did the Wildcats in as the Panthers went on to a 54-33 win.
Hershey grabbed a 9-2 lead in quarter one, but the Wildcats fought back in the second, taking the lead at 14-13 with 4 minutes, 42 seconds remaining on baskets by Zach Gregg and Zac Miller. Landan Maassen got an assist from Dylan Johnson to reclaim the lead for Hershey before Maxwell would take their final lead of the game as Miller rebounded his own miss for a score.
Key to the Wildcats offensive success in the opening minutes of the quarter, were a pair of 3s from Marcus Miller.
Josh Margritz scored on a Colton Marshall assist to give the lead to Hershey, and a single free throw by Johnson sent the Panthers to the locker room at half with an 18-16 lead.
“They came inspired and played hard,” said Hershey coach Dustin Jorgenson of Maxwell. “They did a lot of good things.”
“That’s the best we’ve played all year long — by far,” said Maxwell coach Travis Klein. “I was really proud of our boys effort in the first half and defensively into the third quarter.”
Hershey came out of the half-time break and put together a seven-point run in the opening three minutes. Kalon Czarnick grabbed a rebound and scored, Margritz drove the lane for two and Josh Connell scored three the old fashioned way as he drove the length of the court for two, was fouled and knocked down the free throw.
Two minutes later the Panthers put together an eight-point run for a 36-21 lead. The third quarter ended with the Panthers up 38-23.
“I was proud of our kids effort in the second half,” Jorgenson said. “I thought we stepped it up on the defensive end and got to the bucket which we needed to do.
“I’m just proud of our kids, they did a lot of nice things. We took a step forward.”
Maxwell would cut the Hershey lead to 11 in the fourth quarter when Gregg hit 3 from the top of the key, but a nine-point run by Hershey ended the Wildcats threat. Maxwell struggled from the free throw line late to hurt their chances of a comeback.
“Fatigue and we play so many young guys,” said Klein of the Maxwell downfall. “Hershey is so physical and some of our guys can’t match up quite as well physically with those guys. It just kind of wore on us.
“We cut it to 11 in the fourth but missed seven free throws in the fourth and that didn’t help any.”
Margritz scored a game-high 18 points in leading the Panthers cause, with 10 coming in the first half.
“He did a nice job,” Jorgenson said of Margritz. “The thing about it, the kids found him when he had the hot hand and found him when he was floating to the open areas. We were seeing the floor better.”
Brandon Fletcher was the only Wildcat in double figures with 10 points.
Hershey (7-12) ................... 9 9 20 16—54
Maxwell (1-16) ................. 2 14 7 10—33
H: (2 pt, 3 pt, ft, pts) Josh Connell 1, 0, 1/1, 3; Landan Maassen 2, 1, 2/2, 9; Dylan Johnson 2, 0, 4/7, 8; Josh Margritz 7, 1,, 18; Kalon Czarnick 4, 1, 0/1, 11; Ryan Cox 1, 0,, 3; Dustin Streeter 1, 0, 0/2, 2.
M: Brandon Fletcher 2, 1,, 10; Zach Gregg 1, 1, 0/0, 5; Marcus Miller 0, 2, 2/2, 8; Jeremiah Keith 1, 0, 0/2, 2; Zac Miller 3, 0, 0/0, 6; Brandon Groseth 1, 0, 0/0, 2.
Lady Panthers claim victory
Maegan Hiatt scored 13 of her 17 points in the first quarter and Tayler Baker matched Hiatt for game scoring honors as she hit four 3s, two of which came in the opening quarter as the Lady Panthers stretched their winning streak to nine games.
Hershey led 25-3 at the end of the first quarter and stretched their lead to 47-6 at half. The Lady Panthers defense disrupted Maxwell’s every move, leading to a Hershey transition game that was unlike any Lady Panthers coach Jeremy Thomas has witnessed — at least this year.
“It was huge,” Thomas said. “I don’t think we have scored 47 points more than three or four times in a game all year. We haven’t had a game yet this year where offensively we were clicking, so it was really good to see, to get in the flow of the game. I thought we were in sync offensively.”
Maxwell coach Mitch Armour was also impressed with the Hershey offensive machine.
“I don’t think they missed too many shots,” Armour said. “They’re the type of team that you think your playing hard defensively and you blink once and they’re up 15 on you. Even with hands in the face they were knocking down nice shots.
“I thought we played decent defense — they just played better offense. They’re a very talented team. You can really tell they work hard on basketball in the off-season.”
While scoring 85 points on offense, Hershey continually stepped in front of Maxwell passes and made it very difficult for the Lady Wildcats to get into a rhythm offensively.
“I was really proud of our defense,” said Thomas. “They contested every shot, they were boxing out everything and not giving them any good looks, which I was proud to see.
Maddie Seaman and Daynlee Miller also scored in double figures for Hershey with 12 and 11 points respectively.
Thomas gave credit to Miller for her ability to find the open shooter.
“Our girls passed the ball around,” Thomas said. “Daynlee was an assist machine, Tayler was a 3-point machine and Megan got hot. Everybody overall collectively played a good game.
“Great team effort, very unselfish. That’s what you want at the end of the year. Very good team basketball.
“The key was the focus and the determination in their eyes. That was key for us tonight. I was proud of the effort of our girls.”
Anna Crane finished with 12 points, leading the Lady Wildcats offensively.
“There is really no quit,” said Armour. “We’ve been in some tough games this year and we pride ourselves in sticking to the grind, not putting our heads down and just playing to the end of the whistle.”
Hershey (16-3) ................. 25 22 19 19 — 85
Maxwell (3-14) ................... 3 3 6 11 — 23
H: (2 pt, 3 pt, ft, pts) Daynlee Miller 3, 1, 2/2, 11; Brooke Frederick 3, 0,, 7; Maegan Hiatt 5, 1, 4/4, 17; Tayler Baker 2, 4, 1/1, 17; Maddie Seamann 6, 0, 0/0, 12; Taylor Mustion 0, 2, 0/0, 6; Aliesha Dethlefs 2, 0, 2/2, 6; Ryce Troyer 1, 0, 0/0, 2; Mariah DaMoude 1, 0, 0/0, 2; Jenna Young 1, 0,, 3; Tessa Otzel 1, 0, 0/0, 2.
M: Anna Crane 2, 1, 5/10, 12; Bailee Keller 2, 0, 0/2, 4; Josie Cox 2, 0, 1/1, 5; Tracy Blake 0, 0, 0/1, 0; Kyra Frisbie 1, 0, 0/0, 2.