ROCKFORD – The Mississinawa Lady Black Hawks opened the season with only four upper classmen on their roster, but a team that was ready to meet the new season head on with determination and spirit. That resolve was quickly tested as they visited a senior led Parkway Lady Panthers team Monday night. The Lady Panthers experience and physicality would prove to be too much as Parkway came away with a 58-33 victory.
Mississinawa Valley jumped out to an early 5-1 as Mattie Hiestand drained a three point goal early in the first quarter. The Lady Blackhawks faced a full-court press by Parkway that would cause them problems throughout the game. This press forced several MV turnovers and allowed Parkway to even the score at 11 after eight minutes, despite eight points by Kennedy Stachler in the period.
On a basket with 6:52 remaining before the half, Parkway took the lead that they would never relinquish. The Lady Panther press forced numerous MV turnovers allowing them to surge out to a 23-14 lead with 2:11 remaining in the half.
The next two Lady Blackhawk possessions saw them create easy baskets against the press by running their offense to perfection. Another Hiestand triple just before the buzzer allowed MV to cut the Parkway advantage to 29-21 at the half.
The third quarter saw Parkway put the game out of reach. The Lady Panther defense cranked things up even tighter on the Lady Blackhawks causing 10-MV turnovers in the period. The Lady Panthers went on a 13-0 run midway through the quarter to take command. After three quarters Parkway led 46-27.
“We learned a lot tonight,” said Lady Blackhawks coach Gwen Bergman. “We got pressured. That’s what needed to happen. We’ve got seven practices before our next game. What they saw out here tonight will make them better.”
“They played ‘til the end,” Bergman commented. “They didn’t hang their heads, they kept going. Hustled the entire game.”
“Only won two games last year,” Coach Bergman continued. “Lost to Parkway by 50 last year and come in here and lose by less than 30, I think that’s a win in my book. We’re closing the gap. These girls work hard for me and I appreciate their hard work. We had some first game jitters.”
Kennedy Stachler led the Lady Blackhawks with 16 points. Mattie Hiestand contributed 10.
MV will next face Newton at home on December 5.