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Panthers pounce on Raiders, 57-36

ROUND LAKE -- A pair proved to be the winner Thursday night.

A pair of Brooke's -- Kramer and Kix -- combined to outscored Round Lake-Brewster as Ellsworth was victorious, 57-36, in a girls' Red Rock Conference basketball game.

Kix scored 20 points, while Kramer added 18, and the Panthers (3-3, 5-4) held the Lady Raiders to just 36 points.

The Lady Raiders (1-5, 3-6) struggled from the floor, making just 10-of-51 shots (20 percent) from the field.

"The rebounding rim was stuck on the hoop from practice, I think," RL-B head coach Neil Robinson said. "The bunnies just weren't falling. We had the open looks and some offensive rebounds underneath the hoop, and we just couldn't make them fall."

However, the Lady Raiders were deadly from the free throw line, making 16-of-19 foul shots.

Krystle Doeden, who scored a team-high 12 points on eight-of-eight shooting from the foul line, started the scoring for the Lady Raiders with a pair of free throws and followed with a layup, giving RL-B an early lead.

After an offensive rebound and follow-up bucket by Kix, Leah Riley answered with a jumper as the Lady Raiders maintained their four-point lead.

Both teams traded points in the early going, until an 8-2 run gave the Panthers a 17-14 advantage.

"For the first 10 minutes we hung in there and played tough defense," Robinson said. "But the shots weren't falling, and on the loose balls they (Panthers) were hitting the ground and getting them and we weren't."

Following a free throw from RL-B's Katy Johnson, three consecutive baskets from Ellsworth pushed the lead to 23-15 -- forcing a Lady Raiders' timeout.

"It was much better play than we have been playing in the last month," Ellsworth head coach Justin Hendricks said. "We've worked hard the last few weeks, and we were able to fix some things that we've had trouble with. We started a little slow, but we came around and played well."

April Wallace hit a shot out of the timeout, pulling the Lady Raiders within six, but a trey by Kix (four steals) and a four free throws by Kramer (eight blocks, seven rebounds, five assists) gave the Panthers a 30-19 lead at the break.

Kix once again provided the offensive spark in the second half, hitting a trey out of the halftime break to increase the lead to 14 points.

A jump shot by Sarah Schmitz (10 points) cut the lead to 11 points midway through the second half -- forcing an Ellsworth timeout.

Out of the timeout, the Panthers went on a 12-2 run, started by a trey from Kix and ended by a pair of free throws from Leah Timmer.

Doeden hit another pair of free throws and another shot to keep RL-B close, but Kramer and Kix scored the next six points for the Panthers as they closed out a 57-36 victory.

"Defensively we did really well keeping them off the glass," Hendricks said. "They really didn't get any second chances. Defensively, I'm very happy with how we played."

After Kix and Kramer, Rayna Sandoval led a host of Panthers' players to score with seven points.

"Other people stepped up for us," Hendricks said. "We became a little more aggressive on offense and not so passive, and it just opened things up for everybody."

Ellsworth forced 14 turnovers, utilizing a full court trapping press at time throughout the contest.

"Instead of attacking, we were cautious," Robinson said of handling the press. "With the new hand check rules, we have to go right at them. If we attacked, we were fine, but once we started to be timid, then the uncertainty came in."

But for the Lady Raiders, the first 10 minutes of the game was how Robinson wanted his team to play the entire 36 minutes.

"If we could match the intensity that we had in the first 10 minutes, we're going to be fine," Robinson said. "We have to learn to never quit and have a 'never say die' attitude. We have to find that, and then we'll OK. We're still trying to figure each other out."

RL-B will have a chance to match that intensity Tuesday, when the Lady Raiders travel to Edgerton. Ellsworth will host Mountain Lake/Butterfield-Odin the same evening.

Ellsworth 30 27 -- 57

RL-B 19 17 -- 36

Ellsworth (3FG-2FG-FT-TP):Kix 3-

5-1-20, DeBoer 0-2-0-4, Kramer 1-3-9-18, Sandoval 1-2-0-7, Dreesen 0-1-0-2, Herman 0-2-0-4, Timmer 0-0-2-2. Totals 5-15-12-57.

RL-B (3FG-2FG-FT-TP):Riley 0-2-2-4, Moshier 0-0-2-2, Doeden 0-2-8-12, Meyer 0-1-0-2, Schmitz 0-4-2-10, Wallace 0-2-0-4, Johnson 0-0-2-2. Totals 0-10-16-36.