CLEARMONT — The last time the Arvada-Clearmont Lady Panthers took on the Upton Lady Bobcats, it wasn’t a pretty picture. Upton took a quick 20-point lead in the first half and handily put away the Lady Panthers 37-17.
Arvada-Clearmont didn’t get the win against Upton on Friday night either, as the Lady Panthers found themselves on the wrong side of a 50-28 loss to the 2A team. But head coach Sarah Walker said that she saw a lot more fight in her team this go round.
“I was really proud of the way we came out,” Walker said. “We hung with them for quite a while.”
The cards were stacked against the Lady Panthers from the get go, though. With an injury to one of its players, Arvada-Clearmont only had two subs on the bench. Upton, on the other hand, had 15 players suited up.
“They have to play a lot,” Walker said. “It’s early in the season, they are coming off Christmas break, and we are not in the condition that we should be in. So all of the girls are getting a lot of playing time, which is great, and I think that is going to bode well in the future.”
The Lady Panthers moved the ball well for most of the game, but the shooting wasn’t nearly as crisp. Arvada-Clearmont couldn’t get the lid off the bucket in the first half, scoring only 1 point in the first quarter and dropping two field goals in the first half.
They had plenty of opportunities to grab some points at the line, but they couldn’t take advantage of the free points, shooting only 6 for 16 on free throws in the first half. Upton took its hot shooting and good defense into the fourth quarter to the tune of a 40-13 lead.
Midway through the final quarter, Walker called a timeout to regroup her team. It turned out to be just what the doctor ordered.
While the game was well out of contention, Arvada-Clearmont finished the game on a high note. The team more than doubled its points in the fourth quarter and scored 15 points to close out the final eight minutes of regulation.
Walker said that end-of-game drive is promising to see as a coach.
“We tried some new things, and it worked,” Walker said. “(Upton) was playing their bench at that time, and we wanted them to have to bring their starters back in … we got a couple easy baskets, and I saw a lot of things that I liked.”
The Lady Panthers will head to Wheatland for a tournament next weekend.
Upton………………………8 12 20 10 — 50
Arvada-Clearmont…….1 7 5 15 — 28
Upton — Claycomb 12, Grace Rhoden 8, Ramkin 6, Materi 5, Davey 4, Olson 4, Robin Rhoden 4, Blare 2, Rimberman 2
Arvada-Clearmont — Klaahsen 10, Adamson 8, Fennema 5, Auzqui 3, Salmi 2