POULSBO — Defense secured the Poulsbo Middle Panthers basketball team’s season opener win against Klahowya Eagles Tuesday, 55-30.
“I thought we played real well once we switched to man-to-man defense,” said head coach Glen Godfrey. “That changed the game.”
Godfrey said three key players led the team to victory, Delanee Nilles with 14 points and nine steals, Lexi Simmons sunk 12 points and grappled for 10 rebounds while Indika Bray posted 10 baskets.
Although the three budding basketball stars played standout performances, coach and players understand the importance of working together as a team. A lesson Godfrey is pleased to teach the young athletes.
“It gives them a focus on what it means to be on a team and support one another,” Godfrey said. “It’s a learning experience on how to be gracious in winning and losing.”
The young ladies have nine more opportunities to be gracious players and the first came last night as they duked it out on the wood against Woodward. The Panthers kept up their winning ways defeating Woodward, 46-33.
A win seemed guaranteed for the hometown team until the fourth.
Nilles fouled out and Simmons was in foul trouble. With the Panthers top scorers in foul trouble, Woodward pounced.
“Woodward made a comeback in the fourth,” Godfrey said. “But Lindsey (Foster) and Jocelynn (Wright) had key steals for hoops to turn back the tide.” Regardless of a win or a loss, Godfrey knows what his girls must do to remain competitive.
“We have a tendency to turn the ball over, we need to block out better and we need a second point guard to emerge,” Godfrey said. “Only time will tell.”
Catch the Panthers at home on at 3:30 p.m. on March 3.