Articles from 2010-11 Season
Lewistown holds off previously unbeaten Eagles
LEWISTOWN - Opportunities like the one that Lewistown had on Friday evening don't come along all that often in high school athletics.
The Panthers, playing in front of a swarm of their hometown supporters, stood toe-to-toe with previously unbeaten Bald Eagle Area and pulled out an exciting 48-40 Nittany Division victory over the Eagles.
"I told the team afterward that I saw a lot of growth tonight," Lewistown coach Kevin Kodish said. "They had the nine-point lead at halftime and did a good job of getting that, but then they got behind and earlier in the year they might have folded under that. This time of the year, you like to see that growth."
With the result, both squads stand at 6-1 in the division, although Bald Eagle Area's conference record gives the Eagles the tiebreaker with three more league games to go. The Panthers will need some help, but Friday's win certainly puts the pressure on the Eagles while boosting the confidence of their own club.
"They've got to win now," Kodish said. "Both of us are still alive - (Bald Eagle Area) has the upper hand because they have the tiebreaker, but we are tied for the division now. If it would end today, it would be one of those situations where they would go to the Rose Bowl and we would just be co-Big Ten champs."
You can blame the first quarter on a lot of different things - intensity, nerves, playing in a game of this magnitude - but any of those can explain a portion of a first quarter that ended in a 5-3 advantage for the visitors. Abby Gettig and Anne Hoover made the only Eagle field goals while Ashleigh Williams added the only deuce for Lewistown.
"Both teams got to a really slow start offensively," Kodish said. "There was a lot of tension. They're undefeated and they know that we've been up for years, so both teams were very tense in the beginning of the game and you saw a very low-scoring quarter. You had a lot of hustle and a lot of action, but they loosened up and the scoring came later. I really am pleased to see that we were able to ratchet it up a level to get that eight-point win."
It was all Panthers in the second quarter, as Olivia Halfpenny and Williams found their range from beyond the arc to combine for three triples before the half. Lewistown also kept its intensity on the defensive end, holding the high-flying Eagles to a second five-point quarter to take a 19-10 advantage to the break.
Bald Eagle Area showed the poise of an unbeaten team to start the third quarter, briefly re-taking the lead in the process. Kodish was forced to call two timeouts during the run, and his team finally responded toward the end of the frame. Cheyenne Stonerook started to find her inside rhythm for six points while Logan Snyder chipped in with five - including a huge triple to put her team back in front.
For the Eagles, Gettig and Marissa Ward went back to work to combine for 16 points in the stanza. But despite a 21-point quarter for the visitors, Lewistown's late run allowed the Panthers to hold a 36-31 edge heading into the final eight minutes of its upset bid.
Williams opened the fourth with a three-ball that seemed to take the wind out of Bald Eagle Area's sails, despite the fact that Maggie Meek answered right back with one of her own on the ensuing trip down the floor. The Eagles, who were in need of a repeat performance of their third quarter, managed only six more points by the final buzzer. That fact, coupled with the Panthers connecting on some important free throws down the stretch, put Brandy Preslovich's squad in a position that they hadn't been in all season - the loss column.
"We made mistakes, but we recovered from them and we persevered," Kodish said. "(Bald Eagle Area) didn't get undefeated by being a bad team. They're a strong team and they're senior oriented. It's a great win for us to get here late in the year."
Williams led the way with 14 points for Lewistown, while Stonerook (11) and Halfpenny (10) finished just behind. Gettig topped the charts for the Eagles with 15 points while Ward added 10.
And if the big victory isn't enough to get the locals excited, the Panthers (15-3, 9-3) will now prepare for their final meeting with cross-county rival Indian Valley - barring a meeting in the distrcit playoffs - on Tuesday evening at 7:30.
Open scoring lane
Lewistown opens with 30 in paint
January 5, 2011 - By Drew Pellman, Sentinel sports reporter
LEWISTOWN - Through the years, not many teams have relied on their guards like the Lewistown girls basketball team has. Nearly year in and year out, the Panthers have dominated the backcourt with speed, athleticism and the ability to score from the outside.
So on Tuesday night against cross-county rival Indian Valley, it was odd - and perhaps a bit stunning - to see the first 30 Lewistown points come from in the paint. The Panthers used the quick start to take control early en route to a 68-45 Mountain League victory over the Warriors.
Veteran coach Kevin Kodish said that he couldn't remember a game that started like this one during his coaching reign.
"I'm confident in saying that it's probably the first time ever in 27 years because we have been guard-oriented over the years," Kodish said with a smile. "But these (post players) have that capability and the (guards) found them. We weren't hitting the outside shot early."
Starting forward Cheyenne Stonerook and first substitution Chelsea Siddons were the beneficiaries of that early on as each tallied six points in the opening quarter.
"We took what was available to us and they finished the shots to give us the big lead and that loosened up their defense a little bit more," Kodish said.
Indian Valley coach Roger Herto was making his return to the rivalry after not being involved for the last two seasons. And it was pretty apparent to him as to where his team was beaten on this night.
"I told them before the game that the key to this game was not going to be the first shot at each end, but the second or the third," Herto said. "And in some cases tonight, it was the fourth or the fifth. In a nutshell, No. 20 killed us. Cheyenne just absolutely dominated the glass on both ends - she was the difference in that game."
Herto went to say how impressed he was with Stonerook's game following her setback last season.
"I had the pleasure of coaching her in softball when she was a kid - what a great kid, what a great family, and for her to come back from that ACL injury and do what she's done, that's a real credit to her," he said. "She just killed us - I joked with her after the game that you're not supposed to do that to friends, but she deserved everything she got and more."
Count Kodish among those who are glad to see Herto back on the bench.
"We were coaching against each other for so many years - it was weird the last two years not having him over there opposite of me on the sidelines," he said. "It felt like Lewistown and Indian Valley again having Roger over there. It's a great rivalry between the schools and it was a nice occasion to have him back there."
Aside from Lewistown's duo inside, a layup from Logan Snyder was the only other field goal of the first quarter for the Panthers while Indian Valley managed a bucket apiece from Dani Treaster and Whitney Corbin to make it 14-4 at the end of one.
It was more of the same in the second, as Stonerook and Siddons combined for 12 more, Snyder added six and Olivia Halfpenny got in the mix with five. Corbin and Treaster hit triples for the Warriors and Breanna Cline added a deuce, but the visitors were unable to keep up as Lewistown increased its lead to 22 at 37-15 by the half.
Indian Valley showed that it had no plans to quit when the teams returned from the break, as Corbin struck for 12 points from beyond the arc in the third quarter alone. Couple that with three points from Priscilla Weaver and three more from Sammie Chesnut and the Warriors won their only stanza of the night (18-13) to cut the Panthers' lead to 50-33 with one more period remaining.
But Lewistown freshman Ashleigh Williams, who was held to just two points through three quarters, found her touch in the fourth with seven quick points to put the hammer down on any comeback thoughts that Indian Valley may have had.
Corbin added seven more points in the final frame for a game-high 24 points, but Lewistown's balanced attack featured four players that reached double digits in scoring. Stonerook's 20 led the way and was followed by Snyder (12), Siddons (12) and Williams (10). Just missing out of that group was Halfpenny, who finished with nine.
"It's nice to see that many players in double figures," Kodish said. "You obviously want to see a good rounded team effort."
Herto said that Corbin, as well as her teammates, did a solid job of stepping up in the second half after a slow start.
"We realize that offense is not one of our strengths and everybody knows that she is the player that we have to get the ball to sometimes," he said. "That's a credit to her and her teammates that it's happening. We still need other people to step up to give us that one-two punch, but I thought after what was a very timid first half, we had a pretty good second half."
Lewistown (7-1, 3-1) hosts Juniata on Thursday night before stepping out of the league for an anticipated battle at Greenwood on Saturday. The Warriors (4-4) also return to action Thursday when they will welcome in Bellefonte.
Panthers burst scorebook in win
December 14, 2010 - By DREW PELLMAN, Sentinel sports reporter, firstname.lastname@example.org
LEWISTOWN - With three minutes and 49 seconds left to play in the opening quarter Monday night, Lewistown girls basketball coach Kevin Kodish called for a timeout after watching his team score just two points in its first several possessions.
From there, it was simply all Panthers for the rest of the night. The locals finished out the quarter on a 15-4 run and never looked back in a convincing 67-18 victory over Penns Valley in the 2010 Nittany Division opener.
"It seemed like the ball was bouncing all over the place and we couldn't hit an easy shot (in the first four minutes)," Kodish said. "But once we got rolling there, we had two 17-4 quarters in the first half. 34-8 at halftime is good and we were able to get everyone a bunch of playing time."
With the exception of senior guard Ellyn Geedey who was nursing an injury on the bench for the majority of the game, everybody in the book scored - and then some. The Panthers were willing to accept a technical foul when they entered freshman Rebeka Knable, who was not listed in the book for the varsity game, in the fourth quarter. The move paid off when Knable added a free throw for her first varsity point - matching the point scored by the Rams on their two attempts from the technical.
"It was nice to see them all out there and getting a chance," Kodish set. "They practice hard every day and it's always nice to get them all out there on the floor, too."
But that was a long way from the opening. With the score standing at 2-0, it was senior forward Cheyenne Stonerook who took over the remainder of the first quarter after Kodish's timeout. She knocked home three field goals and four free throws for a 10-point quarter and classmate Lauren Hower drilled a three to end the frame at 17-4.
Sophomore Logan Snyder, who had one bucket in the first, added seven more points to her total in the second quarter and did just as much work on the defensive end to help her squad throughout the evening.
"Logan was all over the place - she's so athletic," Kodish said. "She dives on the floor, she gets tips, she gets rebounds and I wouldn't like playing against her if I was on another team. She's like one of those gnats at the summer picnic that just won't go away. She's always making something happen out there and she's always going 100 percent."
Senior Chelsea Siddons came off the bench to chip in six points in the first half and propel Lewistown to a 26-point lead at the break.
Three more scorers got in the mix in a 21-point third quarter for the Panthers as sophomore Olivia Halfpenny and freshman Ashleigh Williams registered six points apiece and senior Clarissa Adams knocked home four. With just eight more minutes remaining to play, the Panthers had put the mercy rule into effect at 55-12.
The final stanza saw a trio of Panthers, including Knable, put their names into the scoring column as seniors Taylor Snyder and Shawndel Williams each hit from behind the arc in combining for nine total points.
Simply put, Kodish couldn't have drawn up a better start to the Mountain League campaign.
"We stressed that in pregame because not only is this a league game, it's a divisional game," he said. "The Mountain League this year is going to use the 10 divisional games as the number one criteria for a division championship. Then there will be a league title game between the two division winners so every game is going to count."
Stonerook finished with a game-high 15 points while Snyder added 11 as the Panthers moved to 3-0 on the year.
The team will be back in action with its first road test of the season on Friday evening at Bellefonte.
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Panther girls win tourney
December 13, 2010 - By Chris McFarland, Sentinel sports reporter
LEWISTOWN - Huntingdon scored the first basket in the Panther Club Tip-Off Tournament championship game Saturday evening - the only time the Bearcats would hold the lead. The Lewistown girls stormed out of the gate with a 32-point opening quarter in the process of rolling to an 86-54 victory.
The Panthers took a 10-7 lead midway through the first quarter, then deciding to push the pace, exploded on a 22-3 run to finish the period up 22 points. Freshman guard Ashleigh Williams scored half of her 16 points in the quarter.
However, it would then take Lewistown the first six minutes of the second quarter to sink another shot from the field.
"We stopped hustling," Lewistown coach Kevin Kodish said. "We got I think a 32-8 lead. I thought we played a great first quarter offensively and defensively and then we started resting on our laurels a little bit."
While the Panthers couldn't buy a basket, the Bearcats began raining threes. Fifteen of Huntingdon's 23 points during the second period came from long range.
"They started out-hustling us, hit a couple 3-point shots and all of a sudden they started feeling it and getting excited," Kodish said. "They picked up their intensity on defense. Points can do that. I think they got a spark there and we played flat-footed because we had a big lead."
The Bearcats cut the deficit to 16 at the half, but that was about as close as the game would get. Once the Panthers got out of their second-quarter funk, it was smooth sailing.
The second half started just as the first, carried by the efforts of Cheyenne Stonerook and Logan Snyder. Stonerook tallied 20 points, nine coming in the third quarter, and pulled in 15 boards for the double-double. Fast-break drives in the second half gave Snyder eight of her 10 points on the night.
"I though Cheyenne got good chances inside, got some good follows and got fouled a few times. Cheyenne had a very good game," Kodish said. "The guards out front too, Ashleigh and Logan did a good job. Olivia Halfpenny hit a few open shots for us. I thought we shared the ball well."
The Panthers didn't hold back much in the final quarter either. Lauren Hower scored four points in the fourth, while Chelsea Siddons notched seven in the period.
Lewistown (2-0) jumps right back in action tonight, hosting Penns Valley to open Mountain League play.
In the Tip-Off Tournament awards, Lewistown's Logan Snyder and Cheyenne Stonerook were named to the All-Tournament team, while teammates Olivia Halfpenny received the top offensive player award and Ashleigh Williams was named tournament MVP.
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Freshman sparkles in debut
Panthers to face Huntingdon in title contest
December 11, 2010 - By DREW PELLMAN, Sentinel sports reporter, email@example.com
It was, however, a newcomer that stole the show.
Freshman guard Ashleigh Williams hit a pair of three-pointers to go along with four free throws in the opening eight minutes en route to a game-high 24 points as the Panthers held off visiting Milton by a 54-47 score.
"Ashleigh is a gifted player, no question," Kodish said. "She's worked hard her whole life to play basketball at a high level and she stepped right into varsity (tonight). We've seen her a long time and we know the kind of player she is and what kind of work ethic she has. She works hard and her game - she takes it seriously and she's going to be a lot of fun to watch."
Williams drew a foul on a three-point attempt to open the game and preceded to knock down two of her three foul shots before going on to score 10 of her squad's 13 points in the opening frame. Sophomore Olivia Halfpenny also got into the mix with a long ball before the quarter ended with the Panthers holding a 13-6 advantage.
Milton, a team that some say is one of the favorites in the Heartland Conference, stayed within striking distance in all the way to halftime behind balanced second-quarter scoring. Mandy Metzger registered five, including a three, while Madison Krebs dropped in three of her team-high 23. Senior Cheyenne Stonerook and sophomore Logan Snyder did all of Lewistown's work in the quarter, combining for all 10 points to make the Panther lead 23-17 at the break.
The Black Panthers stormed out of the game in the third quarter behind the offensive outburts of Krebs, Metzger and Ali Derr. Milton got as close as 31-30 before the homestanding Panthers got their swagger back. Williams registered her only deuce of the game before coming back with three straight triples to make the scoreboard read 39-32 in favor of the locals with just eight minutes left to play.
Although Lewistown could never put the game out of Milton's reach, it was never truly challenged down the stretch either. Krebs kept her squad within striking distance with 10 points in the final period, but Snyder, Williams, Halfpenny and Chelsea Siddons sealed the deal from the charity stripe down the stretch - going 9-for-12 between the foursome.
Kodish said that coming away with a victory against a strong team this early in the season was quite an accomplishment for his group.
"They have a veteran team - I think they started five seniors - and they're picked to win their division," he said. "I was expecting a test because of their leadership. When you have a veteran team like that who has been around, they're going to put up a fight."
Naturally though, that doesn't mean his team can start getting ahead of themselves.
"The thing that disappointed me about (the game) was that we have to rebound much better - we gave them a million offensive rebounds and I don't think I'm exaggerating by a lot either," Kodish said. "They just attacked the offensive boards and we didn't box out - we just let them have it way too many times."
The Panthers did get a bit of a surprise as Milton showed a zone defense for virtually the entire game.
"Because they're senior-laden I figured they would play a little bit more man, but they did not." Kodish said. "That's evidentally the game that they're going to go with and they've got a big team that can do a nice job on the glass. So maybe they figure that if they can force people into long shots they're going to come out on the winning end more often than not."
Lewistown (1-0) is back in action at 4 p.m. today against Huntingdon in the tournament championship game. The Bearcats defeated Mifflinburg on Friday.