Lady Panthers, Cardinals battle it out in make-up game
WHITTEMORE — Standish-Sterling snapped out of some late-season doldrums Monday, winning an NEMC make-up game at Whittemore-Prescott 63-48.
The Cardinals, though, made things a lot more difficult for SSC than in their first meeting, which the Panthers won by 39. Despite having one just one win all season, W-P, helped by the addition of JV players Emily Forton and Staci Ostrander and playing like a team that still has something to accomplish, stayed within 10 points well into the second half.
The Panthers' full court press and a career-high 29 points from Abbye Gulvas finally were enough to put the stubborn Cardinals down.
"Whittemore is much-improved," said SSC coach Kevin King. "They really came after us. They've had a tough season but the played with a lot of passion and urgency.
"I had to convince the girls that even though we beat them by more than 30 the last time, we had to be ready to play. I think at the half (with SSC up 29-24) they saw that this was a serious foe and we were going to have to play."
The Cards got a basket from Cory Durham and a free throw from Ostrander to get within five at the half. SSC came out fast in the third quarter, running off an 8-2 spurt that featured baskets from Heather Robinson, Gulvas and two hoops from Kayla Hilyard.
Cortney Bork and Cory Durham had back to back scores to get W-P within 37-30, but SSC opened up an 11-point lead at the end of the third quarter and led by as many as 19 in the fourth.
"We played hard," said W-P coach Jeff Miller. "We've done that all year; a lot of times we have a quarter where everything falls apart, but we didn't do that tonight.
"I think the girls are seeing that things work, that if they play within themselves they can make some things happen."
Gulvas had 21 points at the half. Hilyard added eight points and Allison Collier had seven for SSC (11-8).
"Abbye came back nice from a rough game (against John Glenn)," King said. "And I think we finally were able to wear them down with our press. We made it a track meet and that worked to our favor."
Ostrander finished with 11, Bork and Durham had eight apiece and Forton scored seven for W-P (1-17).
"(Ostrander and Forton) have been a big plus for us," Miller said. "They're athletic, they give us some enthusiasm and they hustle."