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Wednesday, January 9th, 2008

Bulldogs pull away late for win

By Ryan Hines

Celina's Gina Everman, 40, and Cayla Hellwarth put pressure on Parkway ballhandl. . .

ROCKFORD - It wasn't a pretty win, but it was a win nonetheless for the Celina girls basketball team.
Celina improved to 9-2 on the season after defeating Parkway 46-26 in a Mercer County showdown at Panther Gymnasium.
"We didn't play as well as what we were hoping for, but the positive thing for us is that we got the win," said Celina head coach Brian Stetler. "We came out flat and didn't execute or do the little things that we have to do to get better as a team."
The lackluster play by Celina could be attributed to the fact that the Bulldogs have a big Western Buckeye League matchup on the road against Shawnee on Thursday as the Green and White try to stay undefeated in the league and atop the standings with Lima Bath and Ottawa-Glandorf. The Bulldogs may have underestimated Parkway (1-10).
"We have a big game on Thursday and maybe the girls were looking forward to that one a little too much, I'm not sure," said Stetler. "I've seen our girls play well at times this year and we're going to have to play better on Thursday than we did tonight if we want to get a win on the road at Shawnee. League games in the WBL are tough and we want to stay with the leaders in the WBL."
Stetler was unhappy with the defense and rebounding by the Bulldogs, but fortunately for the visitors, Parkway struggled shooting the ball.
The Panthers were just 11-of-49 from the field (22 percent) in the contest and the hosts outrebounded the much bigger Celina squad 42-29.
"We took good shots, but they just weren't falling for us tonight. But we did do a good job of attacking the ball on rebounds and I thought that we did a good job on the boards," said Parkway head coach Krista Evans. "We've been really working hard on rebounding and the girls did a good job against a taller team tonight."
"Defense and rebounding are points of emphasis for us every game and we didn't do a good job of either tonight. When we play well those are our strengths and they weren't our strengths tonight," said Stetler. "We were struggling offensively and our defense didn't do anything to help generate any offense for us. Gotta give Parkway credit, they did the things that they had to do to stay in the game."
Parkway dug itself a hole in the early going as the Panthers were just 2-of-11 from the field in the first quarter with nine turnovers and trailed Celina 13-4 after the first eight minutes of play.
Celina struggled in the second quarter shooting just 1-of-9, but Parkway was 1-of-13 and only scored two points as the Bulldogs entered halftime with an 18-6 advantage.
Both teams managed just eight points apiece in the third stanza, but Celina put the game out of reach in the final eight minutes with its best quarter of play during the night. The Bulldogs scored just 26 points in the first three quarters combined, but hit for 20 in the final stanza with much better execution on the offensive end of the floor.
"I think that we did a much better job of executing in the last quarter and it showed in our production on offense," said Stetler. "We have to do a better job of executing in the first three quarters, like we did in the final quarter."
Kelsey Waterman led all scorers for Celina with 14 points while Liz Homan added 12 points as the only two players for either team in double figures.  
Hannah Harshman led the dominance on the boards for Parkway with a game-high 16 rebounds to go along with her five points. Tara Luth led the Panthers in scoring with nine points.
Additional online stories on this date
ROCKFORD - Parkway school board members on Tuesday listened as instructor Anita Morton described a new course she would like to see get underway that would allow students to travel abroad. [More]
NEW BREMEN - The cost of the North Franklin Street reconstruction project is going up as a result of action taken by New Bremen village councilors Tuesday night. [More]
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