Late surge by Panther defense carries RV girls to comeback victory over the Kaws
Sometimes it’s better to be lucky than to be good, and the Royal Valley girls were lucky to be down just seven points at halftime in Tuesday night’s home basketball game against Perry-Lecompton.
The Kaws were the aggressors and won most every battle on the floor in the first half, from field goal shooting to rebounding, but the Panthers managed to hang around and pull off a 40-38 comeback victory.
“If it was a boxing match, we’d have been knocked down several times in the first couple rounds. No doubt, in the first half Perry was the better team,” RV coach Corey Katzer said.
Despite Royal Valley jumping out to an early 10-2 lead over Perry, the host Panthers ended up trailing at halftime once again as the Kaws outscored them by a three-to-one ratio the rest of the first half. The team also just seemed to fall flat in the second quarter.
“Why we do it, I don’t know, but it’s kind of our M.O.,” Katzer said. “We either come out really fast and let teams back in, or we come out and it almost looks like it’s a lack of effort and then do what we did in the second half.”
Defense was the one constant for Royal Valley on Tuesday and it helped fuel the team’s second half rally. Whereas the extremes of his team’s play have cost them games previously in the season, Katzer said staying within seven points made the game just manageable enough for Royal Valley to make a comeback.
Katzer said he has told his team all season if it is within 10 points in the fourth quarter, then it has a chance to win and the Panthers still trailed by seven going into the final period.
Part of the reason the Kaws had such an advantage on the boards was that the Panthers were almost too anxious to make it a full court game in the first half and the RV guards were leaking out early, giving Perry an edge when it came to collecting long rebounds.
Switching to a man-to-man defense erased some of those issues in the second half and Katzer made sure his players would still bring the pressure in their man look in a tight ball game.
“At halftime, I specifically said if we get into the fourth quarter or late into the third and we’re down, I want you belly button to belly button. I really felt that we could create turnovers that way and we did,” Katzer said.
Fast break points helped the Panthers stay within striking distance and a technical foul on Perry to start the fourth quarter seemed to open the door for Royal Valley’s comeback.
Point guard Jaycee Worrell knocked down both free throws after the technical foul and had nine of the team’s final 13 points to help the Panthers pull off the comeback.
“She did step up in the huddle and say, ‘let’s go; we’re not letting this one get away,’” Katzer said of the senior leader.
Worrell got a steal and fast break lay-up to get RV within one before hitting the go-ahead three halfway through the fourth quarter. After Perry answered with its own three, Worrell tied it again and then hit the go-ahead free throw with 55 seconds left to help Royal Valley complete the rally and pick up a 40-38 victory.
That comeback never happens, though, if not for the defensive adjustments as a team and the improved rebounding in the second half, both of which were key in the Panthers’ win, according to Katzer.
With Royal Valley winning the way it did, Katzer said he is hoping it is a shot in the arm for RV (8-10) as it prepares for a big rivalry game against Holton to end the regular season with games starting at 4:30 p.m. in Hoyt on Friday.
Feb. 24, 2015
RV: Worrell 5 (3) 4-6 17, Hanson 2 2-4 6, Biggoose 1 2-2 4, Baker 1 2-5 4, Schuetz 2 0-0 4, Thomas 1 0-2 2, Thompson 0 2-2 2, Dahl 0 1-3 1. Totals- 12 (3) 13-26 40.
PL: Jamison 5 (1) 2-2 13, Mallonee 3 (1) 4-7 11, Robertson 4 (1) 0-2 9, Folks 1 0-2 2, Easum 1 0-1 2, George 0 1-3 1. Totals- 14 (3) 7-17 38.
Royal Valley 60, Perry-Lecompton 30
Starting the competitive week on a Monday did not seem to bode well for the Lady Panthers, as the team got behind schedule leading up to its make-up game against ACCHS in Effingham and never quite recovered in a 52-50 loss.
“We came out a little flat to start the game,” RV coach Corey Katzer said. “We were a little rushed once we got over there. We got a late start out of here, got over there a little late and I think it kind of threw everything off a little bit and I think it showed in the first half.”
Despite jumping out to a 5-0 lead in the first minute, the Panthers could only score 12 points in the first half and some strong shooting gave the Tigers a 12-point lead at halftime.
In the second half, Katzer noted his team woke up and played to its potential, but that didn’t stop the Panthers from going through the same types of hills and valleys they’ve dealt with over the course of the entire season.
Royal Valley went on a quick 9-0 run to start the third quarter, but ACCHS answered with back-to-back-to-back threes to push its lead back to 12 points. Then, RV had a 7-0 run in the fourth quarter to take a two-point lead, but more key three-point shooting gave Atchison County a one-point advantage heading into the final minute of the game.
While the teams went back and forth in the final stretch, Katzer noted the Tigers executed and his team didn’t, which was key in the final outcome, as was the start of the game.
“The mistakes that we were making were very fundamental mistakes, very simple mistakes and I think that just goes back to the beginning of the game when we were kind of out of sorts,” Katzer said.
Feb. 23, 2015
Worrell 8 (2) 6-7 24, Hanson 2 6-8 10, Dahl 2 1-2 5, Biggoose 1 (1) 0-0 3, Jordan 1 (1) 0-0 3, Thompson 0 2-2 2, Schuetz 1 0-0 2. Totals- 15 (4) 15-19 50.
ACCHS: Holtgrave 6 (3) 4-10 19, Fowler 3 (2) 4- 6 12, Scherer 3 1-2 7, Eckert 2 (1) 1-1 6, Newquist 1 2-2 4, Sullivan 1 (1) 0-0 3, Martin 1 0-0 2. Totals- 17 (7) 12-21 52.