By Jeremy Schneider
Maumee junior varsity girls basketball coach Ryan Schalk had a succinct and simple message for his players heading into Thursday’s game — play all 28 minutes.
After what Schalk felt was lackluster effort against Wauseon, the Panthers responded with a much better outing against Northview.
And while the Panthers fell to the Wildcats 56-22, Schalk was still happy with what he saw on the court.
“We did a nice job of playing more competitively tonight,” Schalk said. “They responded and put it on the floor. I saw diving for loose balls more than I have all season, which I love.”
After going down 18-1 through one quarter, the Panthers steadied themselves in the second and scored nine points.
For the third time this season, a freshman led the Panthers (1-3) in scoring as Sky Janes put up six points, all in the second half.
Three players were right behind Janes in the scoring column, with Haley Hughes, Kayla Freeman, and Evelynn Schneider each totaling four points.
Schalk has been impressed with the offense his team has shown this year. Through four games, Maumee is averaging 23 points per game; at the same time last year, they were putting 17 per game.
“I love how we are consistently getting more offense than last year,” Schalk said. “These girls had games last year where we struggled to score over 20 points in a game, and we have managed to do that every game this season.
“We have gotten more quality shots this season than we have the previous two seasons. We are seeing progress, the girls are working hard, and for that I am proud of them.”
Camy Wedge and Schneider led the Panthers with four rebounds each, and Freeman pulled in three boards.
While Schalk couldn’t think of a single player to highlight after the game, he was happy to see large strides made as this year’s team continued to jell.
“I thought we did a nice job of playing as a team,” Schalk said. “Most of our points came off assists and was spread out, as we are doing a nice job of continuing to learn how to play team basketball.”