Persistence and patience can put a big damper on passion. Just ask the Panthers.
In a Northside Conference girls basketball matchup at Dietrich Tuesday, Carey climbed back in to win, 48-47, after trailing for the majority of the game.
Carey coach Hollis Pincock remarked, "I attribute it all back to the first quarter. We were down 18-6 and things were looking bleak. I told the girls we're going to fight through this one basket at a time and they clawed back into it."
The Blue Devils (11-7, 6-3 league) ran out to up a 12-1 lead "before we could even see straight," Pincock said, and even with Jessica Royal and Amy Olsen picking up two fouls apiece, the Panthers kept their composure.
Fueled by Cailtin Dill's 12 points and seven by Denise Anderson, the Blue Devils held the lead at every break: 18-6 at the end of one, 29-22 at halftime and 43-37 at the end of the third quarter.
But just as the horn sounded at the end of the third, Royal was fouled as she was launching a three-pointer. She sunk all three charities, no mean feat on the road, bringing the Panthers within six.
"The girls were starting to see glimmers of hope after that," Pincock said.
The glimmers grew into a mean gleam, as the Panthers went to a man-to-man defense and held the Blue Devils to four points in the fourth.
"The girls played good defense and kept our offense moving," Pincock said. "We had a hand up for all their shots and hustled our buns all over the place."
Fouls kept Carey on the charity stripe and the team went 13-of-22 for the game and sunk seven free throws in the fourth frame alone.
Tied 45-all with a minute and a half on the game clock, Lacey Peterson (5 points) drained a three-pointer. Dietrich answered with a two-pointer, but time dissolved and the Panthers held on for a one-point win.
"The girls were patient. We were running the offense for an open shot and Lacey took a three. That was the difference," Pincock remarked.
Carey had only three offensive rebounds, but grabbed 28 altogether, limiting the Blue Devils' chances at their own end. The Panthers also swiped 11 steals. Whitney Peck grabbed five and Jessica Royal had three.
With leading scorer Peck (9.8 ppg.) double-and-triple teamed for most of the game, junior Brenna Silva stepped up with 12 points and 11 rebounds. Jessica Royal added 11 points.
"They can stop Whitney, but they can't stop them all," Pincock said. "We have six girls that can score."
All six did, as Amy Olsen posted 9 points, Melissa Peck 6, Lacey Peterson 5, Whitney Peck 5. Altogether, the Panthers dropped in 48 percent of their field goals.
"The girls are shooting better," Pincock noted.
Carey (10-7, 4-5 league) rounds out the regular season with a home game against Camas County, Friday, Jan. 21. It will be the final home appearance for seniors Melissa Peck, Jessica Gomez, Brooke McAfee and Shannon Roesbery.