Miners Slip By Panthers In South Central Tilt

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Due to COVID protocol, the Gillespie varsity girls basketball roster was trimmed from 14 players to six for Monday night’s game with Litchfield. The three freshmen, one sophomore and two juniors responded to the challenge on Dec. 13, with a 44-27 South Central Conference win in Big Orange Country. 

The decision evened Coach Kevin Gray’s Lady Miner’s SCC record at 1-1, having suffered a home loss to Pana on Dec. 2. The Lady Panthers fell to 0-3 in league play.

Lily Braasch put the first points on the board for the Lady Panthers and Litchfield’s remaining six points belonged to Laura Boston, who had two hoops and two free throws. 

Litchfield held a 6-2 lead at the 3:52 mark of the first quarter, but a triple by Gillespie’s Mia Brawner inched the Lady Miners to within a point. Boston’s two free throws boosted the score to 8-5, but Brawner’s layup and a three-point basket by Lauren Bertagnolli gave Gillespie a 10-8 lead after one.

The score was tied at 10, 11 and 13 in the second period before the orange and black scored 12 unanswered points and took a 25-13 lead at the half. The Lady Miners capped the rally with back-to-back three’s from Regan Bussman and Bertagnolli and a buzzer-beater for two from Brawner. 

Bussman finished with six of Gillespie’s 15 second quarter points while Litchfield’s five points were credited to baskets by Hailey Rentz and Braasch and a free throw from Emma Walch.

Gillespie maintained nothing less than a nine-point lead in the third period and with 2:25 left, Brawner’s field goal stretched the lead to 12. Boston’s inside drop, followed by a second basket off an inbound feed cut their deficit to 10 with 1:18 left in the period. Brawner’s charity toss at the 14 second mark closed out the scoring for both teams and put Gillespie up 32-21.

Gillespie outscored their guests 12-6 in the final eight minutes as Brawner capped off the game with six of her game-high 18 points. For Litchfield, freshman Gina Painter dropped in two as did Boston and Rentz, who converted two free throws.

Laura Boston led the Lady Panthers with 12 points. She was 5-of-12 from the floor, 2-for-2 at the charity stripe and also had three rebounds and a steal. Lily Braasch was the top rebounder with eight caroms. She also had four points, a steal and a block. 

Hailey Rentz had six rebounds, four points, a steal and three assists. Carly Guinn scored four points, had two rebounds, three steals and two assists. 

As a team, the Lady Panthers shot 26% from the floor (11-of-42) and 63% from the free throw line (5-for-8). They went 0-for-7 from the three-point line. They recorded 25 rebounds (nine offensive and 16 defensive), nine assists, eight steals and a block. They were charged with 24 turnovers.

The Lady Miners shot 33% from the floor (17-of-52), including 4-for-10 from behind the arc. They connected on 6-of-9 charity tosses and pulled down 15 offensive and 19 defensive rebounds. 

In addition, they had 11 steals, six assists and 20 turnovers. Mia Brawner led all scorers with 18 points followed by Lauren Bertagnolli with 10, including two triples, and Regan Bussman who rang up a three, went 3-4 at the free-throw line and scored two conventional baskets.

Litchfield’s next game is at Waverly on Thursday, Dec. 16, against South County, with varsity action tipping off at 6 p.m.

Dec. 13 at Gillespie

Gillespie 10 15 7 12 44

Litchfield 8 5 8 6 27

Gillespie (44) - Mia Brawner 18, Regan Bussman 10, Lauren Bertagnolli 10, Jenna Clark 4, Delaney Taylor 2. Totals: 17 6-9 44.

Litchfield (27) - Laura Boston 12, Lily Braasch 4, Hailey Rentz 4, Carly Guinn 4, Gina Painter 2, Emma Walch 1. Totals: 11 5-8 27.

Three-point field goals: Gillespie 4 (Lauren Bertagnolli 2, Regan Bussman 1, Mira Brawner 1); Litchfield 0.

Records: Gillespie (4-3,1-1); Litchfield (1-11, 0-3).

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