GIRLS HOOPS: CP rally stuns Lady Knights

OIL CITY – Saturday’s District 10 Class A quarterfinal between Eisenhower and Commodore Perry was one for the ages.

That being said, the ending wasn’t what the Lady Knights were hoping for.

The Lady Panthers put an end to Eisenhower’s season on the strength of a 28-point effort from Kaitlyn Powell, winning a 51-50 thriller at Oil City High School.

It was a surprising loss considering the Lady Knights held a 17-point lead (19-2) after the first quarter.

“It came down to foul shooting, pure and simple,” said Eisenhower coach Mike Logue, whose team made just six trips to the line compared to Commodore Perry’s 27. “We made too many fouls, too many mistakes. We got caught not moving our feet and reaching.”

Early on, it certainly didn’t look like a game that would be decided by a single point. Ike stormed out of the gate with a bucket from Danielle Bradish, a pair of three-pointers from Kristen Williams, a foul shot and two-pointer from Holly Chapman and a score apiece for Halie VanOrd and Alyssa Peterson to open the game on a 15-0 run.

A shellshocked Commodore Perry finally got on the board before Williams hit a pair of free throws and Dakota Williams added a jumper to wrap up the first stanza with Ike holding a commanding 19-2 lead.

The Lady Panthers came out looking to copy Eisenhower’s success in the second, scoring the first seven points of the quarter. Perry outscored the Knights 16-8 to cut into the lead with 12 of those points coming on free throws.

The Panthers continued to inch closer and closer in the third, posting a 15-13 advantage and setting up for a dramatic fourth quarter comeback.

Ike held a 40-33 lead heading into the final period, but Commodore Perry wasn’t about go away. The Panthers started hot once again, cutting the lead to 40-37 before another Kristen Williams three extended the lead for the Knights. Perry battled back and took a 48-47 lead – their first of the game – with under two minutes remaining.

For Ike, there would be no comeback.

Powell drew a foul while finishing a layup to make it a two possession lead with just under 10 seconds left in the game before Williams hit yet another three to cut the deficit to one. Eisenhower fouled immediately on the inbound pass, sending Commodore Perry to the line for a one and one. The Lady Panthers couldn’t convert, but Ike was unable to get a shot off before time expired as the Perry players celebrated their victory.

The Lady Knights finish their season at 10-13 overall. Saturday’s loss was the final game for seniors Peterson and VanOrd as well as Lyssa Knapp and Chelsea Parmenter.

“These seniors have worked hard since day one when they were freshman,” said Logue. “They put together a solid four years. I’m real proud of them.”

For his underclassmen, of which there are 16, Logue hopes this loss serves as motivation.

“The outlook is pretty good moving forward. They all got some good experience this year. We made some mistakes today, but they played hard and we didn’t give them anything.”

Williams and Chapman, both sophomores, led the way for Eisenhower with 14 and 10 points, respectively. VanOrd added eight points to go along with seven rebounds, five assists and four steals and Peterson added six points and 13 rebounds. Chapman added 12 boards and Kristen Williams four assists.