Panthers fall behind big in second half

JOHN GIFFIN

Sports editor

INDEPENDENCE — Turnovers were the achilles heel for the Neosho County Community College women (0-8 Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference East, 9-15 overall) in a 82-59 loss at Independence Community College (5-3, 15-7) Wednesday night.

The Panthers were able to find their shooting stroke better than in recent games, shooting 38 percent, but committed 30 turnovers. 

Neosho led at certain times during the first half but fell behind late in the first half, entering halftime down 37-29.

Panther sophomore Madigan Gonzales took a shot to the eye and received attention from Assistant Coach Ryan Cummins and Assistant Athletic Trainer Hiroko Matsuura after leaving the court with bleeding around the eye. Gonzales returned and grabbed 10 rebounds in the game. Also out for Neosho were freshmen Morgan Finley and starting point guard Mackenzie Dunbar. To compound the depth issues, freshman Camri Burke fouled out of the contest with 4:48 to play.

Independence opened up a 54-42 lead with 10:12 to play in the second. By the 4:48 mark, that lead was extended to 71-47.

“They did everything we had in the game plan and we had another injury today with Madigan,” Head Coach JJ Davis said. “She may have to have stitches or something above her eye. It just got late and we kind of ran out of gas.”

The loss was the ninth straight. The Panthers have not won a Jayhawk East game. During the nine-game stretch, the Panthers have faced three National Junior College Athletic Association Div. II ranked opponents and traditional power Coffeyville. After Saturday’s contest against Cowley, Neosho will have completed the first round of the home and away round robin schedule of Jayhawk Conference East Div. 1 opponents.

“The gauntlet continues,” Davis said.

With several players out to injury, 10 players saw action with four players scoring in double figures.

Panther Sophomore Denise Levine led Neosho with 13 points, but committed 10 turnovers. Michaela Hinton finished with 11 points. Olivia Uhrich and Autumn Lipscomb had 10. 

Indy’s Brianna Jackson-Brew had a game-high 16 points. Bethany Barlow scored 14. Deja Robinson had 11 points and nine rebounds.

Neosho hosts Cowley (4-4, 20-5) on Saturday.

Box score:

Independence 37 45 - 82

Neosho           29 30 - 59

Independence: Brianna Jackson-Brew 16, Bethany Barlow 14, Deja Robinson 11, Elina Berzina 9, Simone Costa 9, Kaylee Farmer 9, Gokce Cetin 6, Chassity Waler 5, Courtney Smith 2, Anjo Battle 1.

Neosho: Denise Levine 13, Cherish Barry 6, Madigan Gonzales 2, Jordan Braun 2, Michaela Hinton 11, Autumn Lipscomb 10, Olivia Uhrich 10, Makayla Bell 4, Allyson Mitchell 1.  

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