SHERIDAN — The Panthers showed heart in their 45-31 victory over Lima Bears on Friday, where senior Mackenzee Fabel rejoined the Panthers after Supraventricular Tachycardia (SVT) treatment for their first win this season.
Fabel finished with four points and returned to her leadership role for Sheridan. After SVT heart treatment and a sprained ankle that kept her out of last week’s games, Fabel said it was good to be back on the floor.
“Basically, my heart gets stuck on a beat, it will stop all of a sudden or start all of a sudden,” Fabel said. “It felt good to be back, especially when we didn’t know if we’d have a season because of COVID. It was also senior night, so to play such a competitive game and play so well it really felt great.”
The Panthers held the Bears without a field goal in the first quarter and entered the second quarter with a 9-1 lead. The Bears shot better in the second, but so did the Panthers.
A half-court trap defense put on by the Panthers forced turnovers early and created transition scoring opportunities. The Panthers led 30-8 at halftime.
“The girls were excited for their first win, so anytime we can go out and get a win it’s a great feeling,” Sheridan head coach Emily Pierson said. “I thought we defended really well, we hustled around and made plays but also did a great job converting on the other end.”
The Panthers relaxed their trap defense late in the third quarter and into the fourth, to which the Bears capitalized. Lima's Taryn Martinell made two consecutive 3-pointers in the fourth quarter, shrinking the Panthers’ lead.
Once Sheridan noticed its 20-point lead shrink to 11, Pierson told her team not to lose focus. The Panthers would go on to win after the fourth quarter scare.
“We need to work on scoring and maintaining control of the game,” Pierson said. “We did a good job controlling the pace tonight, but I’d like us to do it for all four quarters and not the three and a half we saw tonight.”
Faith Larsen led the Panthers with 12 points while Desaray Tipton had 10. Katie Gronning also added eight points, which gave the Panthers a balanced offensive attack.
Taryn Martinell led the Bears with 15 points, and had help from Gracie Bravo who finished with seven points. Bravo also showed intense effort in the paint, rebounding effectively on both sides of the ball.
The Panthers will face Ennis on the road on Saturday and tip is scheduled for 4 p.m. The Bears will play Harrison-Willow Creek at home Saturday at 5:30 p.m.
The Sheridan boys also found success against Lima, winning 58-28, just after the girls team earned their first win of the season.
The Panthers got off to a hot start, leading 25-7 after one quarter. They only stretched their lead as the game progressed, leading 38-16 at the half.
“We moved the ball well and scored well,” Sheridan coach Ben Holland said. “We’re going to work on getting into our offense cleanly, that’s where we really struggle is the half court offense.”
The Bears faced a disadvantage before the game started, as they only had five players available for the game. Fatigue had to have been a factor, as the Panthers pushed fast-break opportunities often.
Lima did not score in the third quarter, and trailed 50-16 going into the final period. The Bears were led by Walter Nygren who had 11 points while Peyton Haws added eight.
For Sheridan, Lane Poier led the way with 18 points. Harrison VanHouten also had a standout game with 12 points.
“Everybody got to play and I believe everybody scored,” Holland said. “It was a good, all-around team win and we haven’t had one of those around here in a long time.”