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Panthers Look to Rebound After Consecutive Losses
Written by Bradley Schlegel, Staff Writer
2023-02-15

            After dropping its final two regular season games, Perkiomen School's girls basketball team is hoping for a reset. Brigid Scanlon is looking forward to at least one

Jaycee Merzalde, center, faces defensive pressure

during Perkiomen School's 60-41 loss last week.

more game and Head Coach Kerrie Kosakowski wasn't prepared to offer Scanlon a send-off late last week.

            Kosakowski said the team will benefit from a week-long layoff before one more home game. Perkiomen School, the No. 6 seed, will host Academy of the New Church, the No. 11 seed on Friday in the first round of the Pennsylvania Independent Schools Athletic Association state tournament.  "We need to figure some things out and piece them back together," Scanlon said.

            The Panthers ended their schedule last weekend with a 60-41 loss to The Academy of Notre Dame de Namur when they honored two seniors – including Scanlon, a four-year player from State College – on Senior Night on Friday, Feb. 10.

            Notre Dame – a Catholic, independent, college preparatory school for girls – earned the No. 5 seed. It will open the tournament Friday against Episcopal Academy.

            Against the visiting Argonauts, Perkiomen School fell behind 10-4 early at the Hollenbach Athletic Center and never recovered. It committed 22 turnovers, which Kosakowski attributed in part to playing its third game in four days.

            "We missed too many layups," the coach said. "The girls were obviously exhausted."

            Lauren Patnode – a junior from Saratoga Springs, N.Y. – scored   a game-high 17 points for the Panthers (11-11). Jaycee Merizalde, a sophomore from Connecticut, and Mia Stock, a junior from Richboro, each delivered 12 points.

            Annie Greek scored 13 of her team-high 15 points during the first quarter to help Notre Dame extend its 10-6 advantage to 24-10.

            Katie Halligan finished with 13 points. Lizzie Halligan delivered nine points, and Sophie Hall added eight for the Argonauts, who compete in the Inter-Academic Athletic League. They utilized a trapping defense to force several turnovers and converted several steals into uncontested baskets.  "[Notre Dame] did a good job exploiting one of our weaknesses," Kosakowski said.

            The Panthers scored the final seven points of the second quarter to get within 32-21 at halftime. Patnode scored five consecutive points, and Merizalde's driving layup with 8.3 seconds left in the quarter capped the run.

            Two free throws by Stock midway through the third quarter pulled them within 37-27. But her team got no closer.

            "I thought we gave it to [Notre Dame]," Kosakowski said. "If we could have [avoided] a few more turnovers, we would have given them a better game."

            Two days earlier, the Panthers lost 58-39 to Germantown Academy. Stock delivered a team-high 13 points. Patnode (12) and Jaycee Merizalde (10) each reached double figures in points.

            On Feb. 7, Perkiomen School rolled to a 61-23 victory over the Peddie School. Patnode finished with 27 points, while Jaycee Merizalde scored 17. Stock delivered 15 points.

            Scanlon noted the offense has been a struggle for the team since a pair of key players suffered injuries in early January. Pearl Bixler, a sophomore from East Greenville who had served as the team's first substitute, watched the game from the bench wearing a boot on her left foot that extended to the bottom of her knee. Ava Darvassy, a junior from Dix Hills, N.Y., has not played since suffering a hand injury, Kosakowski said.


 

 

 

 

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