Girls basketball: Park shoots past Ponies

COTTAGE GROVE — A blistering start from long range sparked Park early and the Wolfpack held off Stillwater for a 66-51 Suburban East Conference girls’ basketball victory on Friday, Feb. 3.

It was the fifth loss in a row for Stillwater (2-9 SEC, 8-13), which was trying to climb back from an early deficit all night.

The Wolfpack (3-8, 8-12) drained four 3-pointers on their first five possessions to build an early 12-3 lead. After trailing by as many as 10, the Ponies climbed within 30-24 at halftime.

“They hit deep shots early,” Ponies coach Willie Taylor said. “Sometimes you go watch a team and they don’t hit a shot at all, but they hit four in the first four minutes.”

Park, which received a season-high 20 points from Riley Perryman, did not relent in the second half while pushing the lead to as many as 22 points before a late run by the Ponies trimmed the deficit.

Maddie Whittington totaled 16 points and seven rebounds for the Ponies, who also received 15 points and seven rebounds from Sara Scalia. Rachel Houle added 10 points and six rebounds.

“Maddie is playing better every game and scoring in the block,” Taylor said. “She shot a good percentage and we probably should have gone to her more.”

Taylor Johnson supplied 15 points and Molly Wenner added 12 for the Wolfpack.

Park shot 50 percent (15 of 30) on two-point field goals and was even better at 7 of 13 (54 percent) from outside the three-point arc. Stillwater was unable to take advantage of a 16-8 edge in offensive rebounds and shot just 33 percent from the field overall.

“We’re making baby steps,” Taylor said. “There’s definitely growth. The bottom line is we shot a poor percentage and they shot a good percentage. When we make shots, we’ll have a chance to beat teams. I thought our shots were as good as theirs, but they made them and we didn’t.”

Stillwater 24 27 — 51

Park 30 36 — 66

Stillwater (pts): Rachel Houle 10, Claire Patterson 5, Sara Scalia 15, Emma Murphy 2, Emily White 3 and Maddie Whittington 16.

Park: Delaney Young 2, Riley Perryman 20, Hurji Burka 11, Taylor Johnson 15, Molly Wenner 12, Saren Croker 4 and Ellie Schwartz 2.

3-pointers: St (6): Patterson, Houle, White and Scalia 3; Par (7): Perryman 2, Burka, Johnson 2 and Wenner 2.

Free throws: St, 13-20; Par, 15-20.