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  • Panthers sweep Galena on Senior Night

  • In a contest that went back and forth throughout the game, the St. Mary’s Colgan Panthers had the last laugh, beating the Galena Bulldogs 46-39 on Senior Night.

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  • In a contest that went back and forth throughout the game, the St. Mary’s Colgan Panthers had the last laugh, beating the Galena Bulldogs 46-39 on Senior Night.
    “I’m really pleased with our defensive efforts, and the effort of a lot of kids who made contributions to the game,” said head coach Wayne Cichon.
    “I think our seniors had a big game,” Cichon said. “I think our kids came out and performed on a night that they were recognized on.”
    After leading 17-15 in the first quarter, Ray Slimp hit an open 3-pointer to go ahead by one before getting another shot, this time from the inside, to construct a three-point lead for the Bulldogs.
    A free throw by Tieler Commons closed the gap to one. However, Kyler Cook closed out the first half with an outside shot to 23-19 in Galena’s foavor.
    The Panthers came right out of the locker room to put together a 6-0 run to jump ahead by two. It was a crucial run that began to alter the course of the game.
    “That was an important run in the game.” Cichon said. “It put them on the aggressive end rather than the offense. I felt like that was important for us to come out and get three quick baskets and lead and then keep the lead for most of the half.”
    An outside shot by Kyle Martin brought the Bulldogs to within three points. Dyson Dechant’s shot off the backboard brought the Panthers in front by one.
    Ian Duncan scored off a steal and then Dechant followed with an insider of his own to go ahead by three with 5:40 left in the game.
    Galena did not go away. Deven Newman answered to make it 35-34. But Dechant went to the line in the closing minutes to put the game beyond reach.
    “I thought we shot the ball well,” Cichon said. “I thought we could have shot the ball better. But I was pleased by what we did. Dyson, in particular, made a couple of important free throws when the lead was three and then push it back to five. Our free throw percentage was decent but as the games get tougher and tighter, you got to make free throws.”
    Dechant finished the night with 21 points. Galena’s Newman had 12.
    A missed outside shot by Newman was the Bulldog’s last chance to get something going before the ball went out of bounds and to the Panthers.
    Colgan girls 34, Galena 25
    The St. Mary’s Colgan Panthers did not have to be perfect on offense. They just had to be good enough to get past the Galena Bulldogs 34-25. As for their defense? They were nearly flawless in the second half, only allowing five points in the final two quarters from the Bulldogs.
    Page 2 of 2 - “I felt like the girls played really well and hard,” Colgan head coach Abby Farabi said. “They finally came together and it feels good to get a win.”
    Taylor Bolinger had eight points for the Panthers. Abby Shelton and Lora Rooffener both led the Bulldogs with eight.
    It was a low-scoring encounter for both squads with both defenses taking control for most of the game.
    Galena was held to no baskets in a five-minute span during the second quarter before both teams began to trade points in the final three minutes of the half.
    “We really picked it up on the defensive end, we picked up the pressure a bit and it really slowed down their inside game, which is what killed us the first time we played them,” Farabi said. “We did a good job of that in the second half.”
    A pair of free throws by Nichole Kolarik tied the game at 16. The Bulldogs went into the locker room with a three-point advantage but only because a 3-pointer by Taylor Bollinger was too late to count.
    Cue the second half defense and Bollinger’s outside shot that would help make the difference.
    While the Bulldogs were allowed only a field goal in the third quarter, Bollinger scored a crucial 3-pointer to give the Panthers a 23-22 lead and there would be no looking back.
    “That was huge, they know how Taylor is, they weren’t going to let her get away with many shots,” Farabi said. “I thought that really helped us get the momentum going and sealed the deal.”
    Bollinger followed it up by scoring an alley-oop lay up off a steal to make it a three-point game.
    A 3-pointer would be the final basket of the night for the Bulldogs in the fourth quarter from Shelby Meinert.
    Aliee Story hit an outside shot to create a six-point advantage and the game was too far out of reach for the Bulldogs.

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