Houghton Academy senior guard Jess Prentice averages 25.3 points a game. She dropped 36 when it mattered most, the Section V tournament. Steve Harrison photo.
By CHRIS BROOKS, photos by STEVE HARRISON
GREENWOOD — At one point during the first half, the Lady Panthers of Houghton Academy found themselves down by as much as 12 to No. 8 Jasper-Troupsburg on Thursday, after a hot start by the Lady Wildcats gave them the advantage to work with heading forward.
Although they were battling some early nerves in their first piece of Sectionals, the nine-seeds were able to shake it off ever so brilliantly to deliver a big blow in the second quarter, posting their largest stand of offense which was propelled by Jess Prentice, as they overcame the first quarter hurdle to hang on in the second half with a 47-40 upset win over Jasper-Troupsburg.
“We started off the game on a nervous note. They’re a tall team, and they have multiple girls that really took it to us,” said Lady Panthers coach Jeff Prentice. “To be honest, it didn’t look close at first. We pressured more, and then we had a great second quarter because of that. That gave us a lot of confidence going forward, and that was ultimately the difference. We still needed the girls to follow Jess behind to help carry the load behind her. I thought they did just that tonight to really help us out.”
Four different contributors all pitched in to give Jasper-Troupsburg the start they wanted to have against Houghton Academy (7-14), with Madison Cady leading the way behind eight of the team’s 15 total points from within the first eight minutes, as they accounted for a 15-6 lead. But soon after the roles were reversed and the table was run.
Trailing by as much as 12 at point, the Lady Panthers shook it off and formulated a resilient response for the Lady Wildcats to end the opening half — a 23-7 jaunt fronted by Jess Prentice down low, as she posted 16 of her game-high 36 points from within the frame to pull Houghton Academy ahead with a 29-22 lead at the break.
A lead that Jasper-Troupsburg attempted to cut down, but would never pry away from Houghton Academy, as the Lady Panthers held on in the second half to secure their place in the Class D2 Quarterfinal round this weekend.
Finishing behind Prentice and her game-high 36 points was Laura Maya, who had six points to add. Jessica Adenuga chipped in with the remaining five to round off the scoring.
Houghton Academy now moves into Saturday afternoon’s Class D2 Quarterfinal stage, where they now face top-seeded Andover/Whitesville back on the road in a 2 p.m. contest set to begin in Whitesville.
Houghton Academy 6 23 10 8 – 47
Jasper-Troupsburg 15 7 11 7 – 40
HOUGHTON ACADEMY: Jess Prentice 15 5-7 36, Jessica Adenuga 1 3-4 5, Laura Maya 3 0-0 6. Totals: 19 8-11 47.
JASPER-TROUPSBURG: Kahley Stuart 1 0-0 3, Madison Cady 5 1-2 11, Lauren Ross 2 0-0 4, Natalie Cornell 5 4-6 14, Reagan Miles 4 0-0 8. Totals: 17 5-8 40.
3-point goals: HA 1 (Prentice), J-T 1 (Stuart).
Total Fouls: HA 9, J-T 11. Fouled out: Adenuga (HA), Stuart (J-T).
STEVE HARRISON PHOTO GALLERY: