LEWISBURG – The Tri-County North Panthers came back from a 9-point deficit and clawed past the fast-improving Mississinawa Valley Blackhawks 69-63 Thursday night.
This high-scoring contest saw two high scorers in Tri-County North freshman Aubrey Stupp who had 36 points while Mississinawa Valley countered with senior standout Kelsie Hunt who dropped in 27.
The contest was played in front of 150 fans who definitely got their money’s worth and saw Tri- County North improve to 5-7 overall and 2-4 in the Cross County Conference. Mississinawa Valley dropped to 1-10 overall and 0-6 in the CCC.
”We knew before the game that Stupp would be a handful, and she certainly was tonight,” Mississinawa Valley girls basketball coach John Hershey said. “We have lost several close games and tonight was a prime example. We need to learn to close out and put the Ls into the Ws column.”
First quarter pyrotechnics saw points a plenty at 18-17 for the home standing Panthers of Preble County. Kelsie Hunt knocked in 10 points for the Lady Hawks followed by fellow senior Kylie Willis with 3 and seniors Madison Stachler and Mikayla Stump had 2 apiece. Stupp paced the Panthers with 10 counters.
Second quarter action saw the Lady Hawks scorch the nets for 22 points while limiting the Panthers to an even dozen for a 39-30 advantage. Kelsie Hunt led the attack by swooping in 7, Willis 6, Stump 5 and Sidnie Hunt finalized the scoring with 4. Poling fished in 7 points to lead the Preble County contingent.
Third quarter play saw the Panthers pounce and bounce back into a flat footed tie at 48-48 going into the all-important fourth canto. The Panthers of Stephanie Garner garnered 18 points, doubling the output of the Lady Hawks. Kelsie Hunt kept the Hawks in the hunt with 4 markers. Following right behind was Stump with 3 and Willis with 2. Cassi Stinson of North nestled in 7 points with a variety long range jumpers to lead the Panthers.
The last eight eight minutes did not disappoint as it was fast and furious action for both squads as points proliferated in this CCC tilt. Kelsie Hunt led the Hawks with 6 followed closely by Stump with 4.
The 15-point deluge was not quite enough as Aubrey Stupp countered with 16 points just by herself. The final rundown saw the Panthers surviving by 6 points over the fast flying Hawks of Union City.
Scoring for the Lady Panthers showcased Aubrey Stupp outscoring all her teammates with 36, Megan Poling added 17, Cassi Stinson 11, Sara Harris 4 and Chelsey Streuser had one freebie for their final count of 69.
Lady Hawks scoring tally was led by Kelsie Hunt with 27, Stump 14, Willis 12, Sidnie Hunt 5, Stachler 3, and Bailey Johnson got a fourth quarter bucket for 3, totaling up to 63.