PAXTON -- With a 53-25 win over Clifton Central on Thursday, the Paxton-Buckley-Loda increased its current win streak to four.
“It’s nice to get a little confidence," PBL head coach Nathan Lawler said. "It’s definitely been good. Our kids are getting a little swagger.”
The win also kept PBL (7-3, 2-0 Sangamon Valley Conference) undefeated in the SVC.
“It was a good conference win," Lawler said.
The Panthers started the game on a 12-0 run, starting with a couple of baskets by Baylee Cosgrove and a layup by Brooke Walder before Mackenzie Bruns scored on a three-point play with 4:10 left in the first quarter. A free throw and a basket built PBL's lead to 12-0 before Jillian Baker put Clifton Central on the board.
From there, the Panthers ended the first quarter on a 5-0 run as Walder scored a basket and Mallorie Ecker drained a 3-pointer.
After Hanna Offerman made a basket and Kamryn Grice made a 3-pointer to cut Clifton Central's deficit to 17-7, PBL went on a 10-0 run as Bruns scored a bucket while getting fouled with 7:01 left in the second quarter and Hannah Schwarz made a 3-pointer before Bruns tallied another basket and Kirra Lantz drained another trey with 6:13 remaining in the first half.
Grice made a basket before Cosgrove scored on a fastbreak layup and made two free throws with 3:15 left in the second quarter. Bruns then stole the ball and scored on another fastbreak layup.
“We’re getting better with our presses," Lawler said. "We just need to continue to buy into our rotations. They are hard, but when our kids are playing at full capacity physically and mentally, we’re a tough team to play against."
Kayla Adwell made a 3-pointer to extend PBL's lead to 36-9 before Baker made a bucket to make the halftime score 36-11.
"Our kids played hard, and we got some very meaningful reps for us to get better," Lawler said.
Walder and Hallie Wilken exchanged baskets to make the score 38-13 before Bruns and Sarah Gigl did the same to make it 40-15. From there, PBL went on a 7-0 run as Walder made a free throw, Cosgrove stole the ball and scored on a fastbreak layup and Schwarz and Makenna Ecker made a basket to extend the Panthers' lead to 47-15.
Natalie Prairie and Kayla Adwell exchanged buckets and Baker and Lorena Arnett did the same to make the score 51-19 as the third quarter came to an end.
Lillie Frichtl scored PBL's lone fourth-quarter basket to make the score 53-21 while Baker, Offerman and Prairie each made a two-point bucket for the Comets.
Cosgrove finished the game with 13 points for PBL while Bruns scored 11 points, Walder had seven points, Schwarz and Kayla Adwell each had five points, Lantz and Mallorie Ecker each had three points and Makenna Ecker, Arnett and Frichtl each had two points.
“Everyone played hard," Lawler said. "We got some young girls some reps that are needed at the varsity level to get used to that game speed. Overall, I’m pretty pleased. Clifton Central’s well-coached, and they played hard as well. It’s a good way to end a tough week.”
After facing St. Joseph-Ogden on the road on Monday, PBL will travel to face Momence on Thursday, Dec. 19, before participating in the Monticello Holiday Hoopla on Dec. 26-28.
"I’m really proud of the effort overall, and I’m hoping that transitions into two good days of practice before Monday," Lawler said. "We’re looking forward to Monday against St. Joe. It’s a big week next week to keep riding the momentum.”
PBL 53, Clifton Central 25
CC 2 9 8 6 -- 25
PBL 17 19 15 2 -- 53
Jillian Baker 4-0-8, Hanna Offerman 2-0-4, Kamryn Grice 2-0-5, Kaylie Warpet 0-0-0, Kendall Antons 0-0-0, Allie Wilken 1-0-2, Kaitlyne Beherns 0-0-0, Laney Bottorff 0-0-0, Sarah Gigl 1-0-2, Natalie Prairie 2-0-4, Madison Kleinert 0-0-0. Totals 12-0-25.
PBL (7-3, 2-0)
Emily Adwell 0-0-0, Brooke Walder 3-1-7, Emily Robidoux 0-0-0, Baylee Cosgrove 5-3-13, Hannah Schwarz 2-0-5, Losa Suaava 0-0-0, Mallorie Ecker 1-0-3, Lorena Arnett 1-0-2, Mackenzie Bruns 5-1-11, Lillie Frichtl 1-0-2, Bailey Eyre 0-0-0, Kirra Lantz 1-0-3, Kayla Adwell 2-0-5, Makenna Ecker 1-0-2, Makynlie Hewerdine 0-0-0. Totals 22-5-53.
3-pointers -- Clifton Central (Grice). PBL 4 (Schwarz, Mal. Ecker, Lantz, K. Adwell).