PRINCETON — The Putnam County girls basketball team rolled past Henry 59-18 on Friday to finish undefeated in the Blue Pool of the Tigresses Holiday Tournament.
The Lady Panthers (3-0) will face Stark County at 7 tonight in the championship game.
The Lady Rebels finished 3-0 in their pool after a 62-34 victory over LaMoille-Ohio on Friday.
The Lady Lions (2-1) will play Bureau Valley (2-1) in the third-place game at 6 tonight. The Storm beat Streator 52-36 on Friday.
Henry (1-2) will play Midland (1-2) for fifth place at 4:30 p.m., while host Princeton (0-3) will play Streator (0-3) for seventh place at 3 p.m.
Putnam County 59, Henry 18
The Lady Panthers defense suffocated the Lady Mallards so much that they didn’t even allow a shot attempt for the first three minutes of the game.
During that span, Megan Rehn converted one of those turnovers into a layup, and Venessa Voss showed she was going to be a force in the paint as she hit two short turnarounds to push the lead to 8-0.
“We talked about defense before the game,” PC coach James Barnett said. “We wanted to be aggressive and I thought we did that. We go nine deep and our guards cause turnovers and feed the post players for layups and our big girls get turnovers and feed the guards as well. When we do that we can be dangerous.”
Emma Cluskey hit a jumper with 20 seconds left in the first quarter for the Lady Mallards first basket of the game as Henry trailed 12-3.
Voss then became an even bigger presence in the second quarter as she claimed her seventh rebound and her eighth point as the Lady Panthers’ lead grew to 23-3.
Rehn and Daniela Pavlovich picked up steals and baskets to push the lead to 29-3, and moments later, Stephanie Wilson had a feed into Voss for another layup.
Cluskey then picked up an old-fashioned three-point play to end a 21-0 run by the Lady Panthers.
Before the half was over, Pavlovich picked up nine quick points and Allison Voss picked up six to give Putnam County a 45-9 halftime lead.
“In the first couple games, I didn’t think we used our inside-out game very well,” Barnett said. “Tonight, I thought we did an excellent job of that. I told the girls our guards aren’t going to surprise anyone this year so we have to use the inside-out game. When teams revamp their game plan because our all-around game is good, it’s just going to open other windows.”
The second half was more of the same as the Voss girls had eight of the 14 Lady Panther points, and the turnover bug continued to haunt Henry.
Cluskey added five more second-half points to finish with a team-high 11, but Putnam County dominated for a 59-18 victory.
“Putnam County is so quick at every spot,” Henry coach Kenny Kuehn said. “There were several occasions where we thought we had a lane open for a break-away pass, but someone sealed that hole nearly every time.”
Putnam County had three players in double figures. Venessa Voss led with 14 while Pavlovich added 11 and Allison Voss had 10.
Bureau Valley 52, Streator 36
Bureau Valley used a 12-0 first quarter lead to take command of its contest with Streator as Heaven Bennett scored five points.
The lead grew to 16-0 before Morgan Sharisky hit a jumper with 5:38 left in the half.
Irini Petros’ stick back gave the Storm a 22-6 lead before Streator ended the half on a 6-1 run to cut its deficit to 23-12 at the intermission.
Streator continued its strong play at the end of the first half into the second half with Kaylynne Terry started with a pair of free throws and Shania Phillips drained a 3-pointer before Alexis Black hit a jumper from five feet out to make it a 23-19 game.
From there, Carlie Bickett made the most of her first varsity start by hitting a bank shot and then had a stick back to push the BV lead to 31-23.
“Carlie was really aggressive tonight, especially in the second half,” Storm coach Tiffany Gonigam said. “She is 6-1, so she has the size and tools and she got us going when Streator made their run.”
In the fourth, it was the Storm’s defense, rebounding and eight points from Nicole Bornsheuer as they pulled away from Streator for the 52-36 victory.
Bickett led the scoring for the Storm with 12 points, while Bornsheuer and Bennett added nine each. Bickett also had a game-high nine rebounds.
Stark County 62, LaMoille-Ohio 34
Vanessa Martinez had a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds, but it wasn’t enough for the Lady Lions to avoid their first loss of the season.
L-O trailed 16-13 after the first quarter, but the Lady Rebels outscored the Lady Lions 21-9 in the second quarter to take a 37-22 halftime lead.
Stark County extended the lead to 55-26 by the end of the third quarter.
“We looked tired,” L-O coach Richard Gross said. “We didn’t move. We did not shoot well.”
Brad Martin Sr. can be reached at 220-6939, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.