Gritty Panthers Battle But Fall to Lady Crusaders

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Travis Riefenstahl

Lady Panthers Olivia Williams, Kat Naiburg, and Helen Kreschollek trying to establish their territory.

Travis Riefenstahl

Lady Panthers Olivia Williams (32), Kat Naiburg (5) and Helen Kreschollek trying to establish their territory.

Thursday night the Saucon Valley Lady Panthers hit the floor at Notre Dame Green Pond High School to battle with the Colonial League East-leading Crusaders. Notre Dame is a traditional basketball powerhouse and put their 3-1 record on the line against the 0-5 Panthers. The Panthers were not able to keep pace on the scoreboard, but they certainly showed a tremendous amount of grit and played with an admirable, spirited effort. The Panthers fought hard, but lost 53-27.

In the 1st quarter Panther junior Shannon Williams jumped on the Crusaders and scored the first points of the game with a jump shot just inside the three-point arc near the top of the key. Williams was also able to tie the game at 4-4 with a layup at the 4:52 mark. The Crusaders, however, were able to craft a six point run to close out the quarter with a 12-7 lead.

Travis Riefenstahl

Kat Naiburg & Co. proved that Saucon Valley is not adverse to competing for loose balls against Notre Dame.

The Panthers Katherine Naiburg was able to connect for a quick three-pointer to start the 2nd quarter, but Notre Dame’s defensive pressure prevented Saucon from establishing any type of sustained offensive groove. The Panthers continued to hustle and muscle, but were outscored 11-3 in the quarter. Saucon Valley just could not get good looks at the basket and convert quality shots. At the half it was a 23-10 lead for the Crusaders.

Travis Riefenstahl

The Panthers’ Helen Kreschollek outworks the competition for this rebound.

Aside from three points each by junior Shannon Williams and sophomore Olivia Williams (no relation), the Saucon offensive drought continued into the 3rd quarter. To make matters worse for the Panthers, Notre Dame’s experienced offense began to heat up. The Crusaders outscored Saucon Valley 22-6 in the 3rd quarter to take a commanding 45-16 lead.

Travis Riefenstahl

Helen Kreschollek of Saucon Valley battles hard in the paint.

Even though the Panthers were experiencing a beatdown on the scoreboard, they continued to hustle and compete. They continued to play with commendable resolve. The spunky Panthers challenged shooters, battled for rebounds and hit the floor for loose balls. Saucon’s effort paid off as they outscored Notre Dame 11-8 in the 4th quarter. Panthers Kat Naiburg, Brooke Riefenstahl, Helen Kreschollek and Isabella Medei all registered points in the final quarter. It was a lopsided 53-27 victory for the Crusaders, but there was no quit at all by the Lady Panthers.

Junior Olivia Brandt had 12 points and Brianna Maslonka added 8 to pace the Crusaders.

Shannon Williams led the Panthers with 7 points. Katherine Naiburg and Helen Kreschollek each added six.

The Lady Panthers will take their hustle and muscle on the road again Friday night as they travel to Lehighton for a make-up date with the Indians. JV will start at 5 p.m with a varsity tip-off at 6:30. This is a rescheduled game that was originally supposed to take place last Saturday.

Best of luck Panthers, the Source is with you!

Travis Riefenstahl

Brooke Riefenstahl of Saucon Valley pulling a move and driving to the hoop.

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