RUSSELL, Kan. (Catch it Kansas) – Phillipsburg ladies’ basketball has personnel benefits over most opponents. The Panthers characteristic sophomore level guard Taryn Sides, a high-level Division I recruit. Phillipsburg has loads of top, led by senior Meredith Jacobs and sophomore Heather Schemper, every 5-foot-11.
The Panthers characteristic 5 seniors and powerful depth. Phillipsburg has purchased into the burden room and constructed power and velocity. Moreover, gamers and townspeople typically use the Neighborhood Constructing Fitness center, an old-time stone construction in Phillipsburg. The constructing yielded casual basketball throughout a prolonged coronavirus-induced winter sports activities moratorium from Dec. 23 to Jan. 7.
On Friday, the gymnasium time offered one other edge when Phillipsburg pulled away within the second half for a 55-39 victory at Russell in a Mid-Continent League contest. Sides completed with 15 factors, 11 rebounds, 5 steals and 4 assists. Jacobs and Schemper every tallied 10.
Phillipsburg, ranked fourth in Class 3A, improved to 7-0, 4-0 in convention within the staff’s first recreation since Dec. 18. The winter break was longer than regular this yr due to COVID-19, and groups had simply 4 practices earlier than the restart.
Unranked Russell led 21-20 late within the first half. Phillipsburg scored the final 4 factors earlier than intermission and opened the third quarter on a 12-2 run. Sides typically upped tempo, which yielded quick break factors.
“The ladies performed exhausting, and that’s all you are able to do,” coach Rachel Miller stated. “You possibly can play exhausting, after which finally that rhythm and that stream goes to return again.”
5 of the Panthers’ first six victories got here by no less than 30 factors. Phillipsburg defeated Central Plains, 49-44, within the Russell event on Dec. 12 to finish the Oilers’ state document 138-game profitable streak.
Unranked Russell, below first-year coach Lexi Schamberger, dropped to 3-4. Russell has proven enchancment after a 1-9 opening in ’19-20. That included a 30-point loss to Phillipsburg. Junior Rylan Reeves recorded her fourth double-double this season with 18 factors and 13 rebounds. Schamberger stated her staff performed “rather well” and noticed “largely positives,” although seen Phillipsburg was higher conditioned.
“It was a extremely good studying recreation for us, and we competed rather well,” Schamberger stated. “Positively, one of many principal classes we might have realized was understanding over break. You possibly can inform we had been just a little gassed. Had we have now had just a little more healthy staff, we most likely would have caught with them much more.”
Within the first half, Sides shot 2 of 8 for 5 factors, although delivered three steals, 5 rebounds and a key help. With 47 seconds left earlier than halftime, Heather Schemper discovered Ava Schemper for a basket and 22-21 lead. The Panthers by no means trailed once more.
On the 24-second mark, Sides, at a fast tempo, assisted on one other Ava Schemper basket. Ava primarily served as a reserve her junior season and has stepped into the beginning lineup.
“She works exhausting to enhance her recreation, and she or he is an effective shooter,” Miller stated.
A few of that work comes from the Neighborhood Constructing, situated at 425 F Road and related to the Phillipsburg Metropolis Workplace. A longtime city gathering place, the constructing is supplied with bleachers, chairs and tables. Basketball, volleyball, pickleball, strolling and household capabilities all happen. The gymnasium, greater than 75 years outdated, is 85 by 80 toes. Reservation is $100 per day or $10 an hour. Ava’s mom, Heidi, was amongst those that rented.
The Metropolis of Phillipsburg’s calendar confirmed the gymnasium hire for casual basketball no less than one hour a day on Christmas Eve, Dec. 26, together with Dec. 28 by Jan. 1.
“Tried to remain in form just a little bit,” Keith Sides, Phillipsburg’s boys’ coach and Taryn’s father, stated.
Ava referred to as the basketball time “not like open open gyms” however merely a chance to play indoors throughout chilly climate and nonetheless adhering to COVID-19 insurance policies. Official highschool follow re-started this week.
“She is taking part in with numerous confidence this yr,” Miller stated of Ava.
As properly, Miller used the lengthy break to observe important movie and assist put together for subsequent Tuesday’s contest, a marquee residence matchup in opposition to undefeated WaKeeney-Trego.
“Once they don’t let me follow with the women, I’ve obtained to do one thing,” Miller stated with a smile. “I did put in lots of hours.”
The Golden Eagles, ranked fourth in 2A, have rolled by their 7-0 begin with its extremely skilled beginning lineup. Final winter, WaKeeney beat Phillipsburg for the league event. Then, Phillipsburg gained at WaKeeney for the common season title. Aside from that loss, Trego has gained 30 straight contests. Phillipsburg is 16-1 in its final 17 video games courting again to final yr.
Miller expects the sport to be “well-contested” with excessive vitality.
“It’s an MCL matchup,” Miller stated. “We’re conversant in one another. We all know the place their strengths come from. They know the place our strengths come from, and I believe it’s simply going to return right down to who is prepared. As a result of that is such an abbreviated starting to the second half of the season.”
Miller hoped that the Panthers’ second-half efficiency versus Russell would carry over to WaKeeney. Throughout halftime, the Panthers had a short assembly.
“Talked about, ‘The place are locations the place we will assault?’ and what had been some defensive changes that we might make,” Miller stated. “And we knew popping out of halftime that these first three minutes had been actually crucial, and we simply wanted to get right into a rhythm. We simply couldn’t discover any rhythm within the first half, and kudos to Russell.”
Within the first 4 and a half minutes, Phillipsburg had its 12-2 run. Sides pushed tempo for a quick break basket by Heather Schemper. Then, a Jacobs steal led to a terrific 3-point quick break play by Sides. Later, Sides drove and completed with a left-handed floater.
Phillipsburg held Russell to simply 32 % capturing, together with 7 of 24 (29 %) within the second half. Ava Schemper performed strong protection.
“She is fast,” Miller stated. “She does job of entering into place.”
Within the second half, she yielded a pleasant assist facet play the place she got here off her opponent. Schemper helped and compelled a Reeves miss.
“We actually simply began speaking, speaking extra,” Ava stated. “Simply form of obtained again into our groove actually. We actually simply weren’t speaking in any respect first half, and that actually messed with us.”
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