Panthers come up short defending title

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Oceanview goes undefeated to win Panther Challenge

NEW GLASGOW – After starting the weekend 4-0, the New Glasgow Junior High Lady Panthers struggled Sunday night as Oceanview kept them from winning the Panther Challenge for a second straight year.

New Glasgow Junior High Lady Panther Riley Sood, right, tries to keep Oceanview Educational Centre’s Jill MacKeigan from driving to the hoop during yesterday’s final at the 8th Annual Panther Challenge at North Nova The Panthers fell 58-31 to Oceanview. 

Oceanview Educational handed the Panthers a 58-31 loss in a game that had its ups and downs according to Panthers coach Andy MacKay. He said his team struggled in the second quarter, which allowed Oceanview to pull ahead.

They also struggled with the type of offence they saw in their tournament final.

“I was telling the girls throughout the game that the score wasn’t a real reflection of their effort or how the game was going,” he said. “They are a very well coached team and run a complex offence and they were executing it. They got a lot of easy baskets and we were struggling to score a little bit.

Riley Sood led the team in the final with eight points, while Katelyn Biron had seven for New Glasgow. Morgan MacKenzie had 26 for Oceanview in their win, with Kallie MacKinnon and MacKenzee Ryan each adding nine.

MacKay said the goal continues to be winning Division 1 provincials this year and having a game like they did Sunday night was important for the girl’s growth and improvement.

“It’s really important actually because essentially none of those girls are bantam age,” he said. “I think they had nine or ten Grade 9s and we had none. We’re a younger team, so it’s good experience to play a bit of an older, stronger team. We’re going to go down to their tournament and have another chance. We’ll practice some of the stuff they do over the next few weeks.”

Overall he said he was happy with how the weekend went both off and on the court.

“I’ve had a lot of comments from the referees, parents and coaches saying it was the best event they’ve ever been at,” said MacKay. “From the hospitality suite to no admission to the games, the amount of teams that were here, the way the kids were made to feel special and how it was very professionally run; I only heard good things.”

Geographic location: New Glasgow

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