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Girls' cagers start season with pair of home wins

It was a top notch start to the season for the Glencoe-Silver Lake girls’ basketball team as the Panthers took down visiting St. Peter and Tri-City United last week to begin their 2017-18 campaign at 2-0.
“It was a very good start for us,” coach Jeff Monahan said. “You never know how it is going to go starting a season, but I think those scrimmages we had a couple weeks ago really helped us be ready.”
Guard Olivia Lemke hit the team’s first basket in the new gymnasium with a three-pointer to give GSL a quick 3-0 lead in the season opener on Tuesday, Nov. 28. However, St. Peter seized an early lead on the hosts.
The Panthers quickly overcame the early deficit and took the lead for good on a basket and free throw by guard Mac Monahan with five minutes to play in the first half.
Center Zoe Christensen, playing her first varsity basketball game since the 2016 sectional playoffs, put GSL up 29-19 with a basket in the paint with just under three minutes to play until halftime.
The Saints rallied to cut the deficit to five points at 33-28 at the half, but the Panthers were able to keep the visitors at arm’s length over the second half.
“The St. Peter coach told me that every time they made a run, our kids answered,” coach Monahan said.
GSL maintained a multi-possession lead for most of the second half, never allowing the Saints closer than three points before surging at the end on the way to a 72-61 final.
“I thought we really closed out at the end of the game,” coach Monahan said. “We really had a one-shot-and-done mentality on defense.”
Mac Monahan led the way with 29 points, with Lemke and fellow guard Miah Monahan recording 16 and 11 points, respectively.
It was more of the same for the Panthers two nights later against TCU. GSL led the Titans 30-25 at the break before pouring it on to win by 19 points, 61-42.
Lemke was the host’s top scorer with 26 points, with Mac Monahan chiming in with 19 points.
“The games were very similar,” coach Monahan said. “We kept that two-possession lead for most of the game against TCU, just like with St. Peter.”
The coach noted that despite the 2-0 start, the squad needs to work on its rebounding and execution, in addition to conditioning and offense.
“We were giving up a lot of second and third chances earlier in games before shutting it down late,” he said. “We’ve got to work on keeping the other team to one-and-done more throughout the game.”
There’s just one game on the docket this week, but it is a doozie. Hutchinson, the No. 2-ranked team in Class AAA comes to town for a 5:45 tipoff on Friday night.
“Hutch is very good and well coached,” coach Monahan said. “We’re hoping we can handle them and keep this roll going.”