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Concordia Girls Basketball Team Can’t Get Past First Quarter Struggles Against Jackson Heights

2022-2023 Concordia High School Girls Basketball Team
2022-2023 Concordia High School Girls Basketball Team

It would have been easy for the Concordia High School Girls Basketball team to quit after the first quarter they had against Jackson Heights, but the Lady Panthers displayed their grit in their opening round game of the 2023 Hiawatha Girls Invitational Tournament on Tuesday, January 24th.

The first quarter went about as badly as it could, with the Panthers falling behind by 17 points in the opening frame.  They kept at it though and outscored the Cobras 34-33 over the final three quarters, but dropped the contest 54-44.

The Panthers lost their fourth straight game and next will face the Lafayette Fighting Irish on Thursday, January 26th at 4:30 pm at Hiawatha High School.

Concordia entered the tournament as the No. 6 seed, while Jackson Heights entered at 8-2 on the season and ranked No. 4 in Class 2A by the Kansas Basketball Coaches Association.

Jackson Heights completely owned the first quarter, jumping out to a 21-4 lead.  Panthers Junior Guard Hattie Blackwood drained back-to-back three-pointers to finish the frame, narrowing the gap to 21-10.

The Panthers got their offense together in the second quarter, with Freshman Charlize Cash and Sophomore Kinsleigh Bethune both making shots from behind the arc.  Jackson Heights finished the first half 9-of-15 (60.0%) from the free-throw line to lead 34-22 at halftime.

To start the second half, the Panthers used a 9-2 run, including four points from Junior Guard Carlie Carlgren, a basket by Cash, and a three-pointer by Blackwood, turning a once 17-point deficit to a five point game at 36-31 with 5:57 left to play in the third.  Concordia won the quarter 11-7 to trail 41-33 headed to the fourth.

Jackson Heights had an incredible performance out of Senior Kanyon Olberding, who poured in 24 points, including 10 points in the second half, and the Cobras were able to hang on for the 10 point win.

Junior Dawson Cochren tallied 12 points for Jackson Heights.

Carlgren led Concordia in scoring at 13 points, 3 rebounds and 3 steals.  Carlgren was named our Nex-Tech Wireless MVP of the Game.

Senior Cianna DeLeon added 8 points and 2 rebounds.  Cianna received our H&R Block of the Game.

Blackwood had 9 points, while Cash tallied 7 points, 4 rebounds and 3 assists.  Sophomore Taylor McDaniel battled foul trouble and finished with 4 points, and Bethune ended up with 3.

Dropping to 2-9 overall, the Panthers will be back in Hiawatha on Thursday to face Lafayette.  The Fighting Irish, 6-12 overall, dropped their opening round contest against St. Mary's on Tuesday, 61-50.  Live coverage of Thursday's game can be heard on 1390 KNCK, 98.3 FM and NCKToday.com, beginning with the Panther Pregame Show at 4:15 pm.