Down To Wire
Odell Hits 5 Treys To Send Panama Past Sherman, 33-31
PANAMA — Panama girls basketball coach Dennis Hinsdale is used to working his offense through the paint, but when the outside shooting starts to work as it did on Thursday night against visiting Sherman, that is alright, too.
Sophomore Lilly Odell hit home five times from beyond the arc, leading the Panthers (3-1, 2-0) to a 33-31 win over the Wildcats (1-2, 1-1) in Chautauqua-Cattaraugus Athletic Association Division 2 West play.
The hot long-range shooting would give Panama a cushion to play with for much of the night, but Sherman was able to close that gap down the stretch, as the visitors would have a pair of opportunities to even the game.
Entering the fourth quarter, the Panthers held a six-point lead, but that margin shrunk to four points after a putback from Mackenzie Gratto and more inside buckets from Amaya Lewczyk, Kaitlyn Lindsey and Jenna Fisher.
“Nobody has more fight than these girls,” Sherman coach Emily Eckwahl said. “Any game that we start I know they are going to give it their all until the end. The game is not over until it is over with this group.”
Paige Gratto would finish off a putback on a missed shot to pull Sherman within two points, but the Wildcats were unable to get a shot to drop to even the game on their last two possessions.
“I just told them that the good news is that we will hopefully get a couple more cracks at them later this season,” Eckwahl said. “I’m OK taking a loss like this knowing we had a lot of missed bunnies. I was really happy with what our offense gave us, we just didn’t get the shots to fall. I’m really really proud of our girls being three games into an 11 month break.”
The 3s would fall early and often for the Panthers, who grabbed an first-quarter lead after Mandy Brink fed Ashlyn Harvey for a finish and then pulled up for a make from beyond the mark on her next possession.
Odell would hit home on her first two buckets in the opening quarter, but Sherman would keep pace with inside work from Mackenzie Gratto and Jenna Fisher.
Panama held a 20-15 margin at halftime and would maintain their lead through the third with another 3 by Hannah Schauman and an underhand finish from Brink.
Helping Sherman keep pace was Mackenzie Gratto on her way to a team-high 13 points and 21 rebounds.
“It is weird not playing in front of people,” Hinsdale said of the environment. “It is tough, but it is tough for everybody. First of all, we only had, what, six practices before our first game. They are good shooters, but I like the inside play. We’re 3-1 but we’ve got a lot of work to do, and the girls know it, and they will work at it. That is the fun part about coaching, is watching them adjust and make those changes to get better.”
Brink would finish with 7 points, five rebounds and three steals and Madelyn Lisciandro would put in a balanced effort for Panama with four rebounds, four steals and a block. Josephine Baily led the winners on the glass with seven boards while Amaya Lewczyk had five steals and four points and Fisher three assists for Sherman.
Bates 0 0 0, Fisher 3 0 6, Lindsey 1 0 2, P. Gratto 2 0 4, Lewczyk 2 0 4, M. Gratto 5 3 13, Polach 1 0 2.. Totals 14 3 31.
Bailey 0 0 0, Brink 3 0 7, Schauman 2 1 6, Lisciandro 0 0 0, Harvey 2 0 4, Morgan 0 2 2, Odell 5 0 15. Totals 12 3 33.
3-point goals: Odell 5, Brink, Schauman,
Sherman 7 8 6 10–31
Panama 13 7 7 7–33