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Putnam County junior center Allison Voss goes up for two points in the paint agaist Streaot defender Kaylynne Terry. Voss scored six points in Monday’s 71-37 non-conference rout on Streator. NewsTribune photo/Chris Yucus
GRANVILLE — The Putnam County girls basketball team has been in a bit of an offensive funk lately.
That changed Monday.
The Lady Panthers scored early and often as they got back on track with a 71-37 rout of Streator in their final game before the Tri-County Conference Tournament.
“It was nice to see the girls come out and play the way they did tonight because the last two games we’ve had trouble scoring points,” PC coach James Barnett said. “We couldn’t make layups, we couldn’t make free throws, so it was real nice to see us come out, hit some shots early, hit some free throws early and get to the line like that early.
“The girls had fun tonight. It’s good to have fun every once in a while like this, especially now since we have a week off until the Tri-County tournament starts.”
The Lady Panthers (18-1), who are ranked No. 5 in the Class 1A Associated Press Poll, are the No. 1 seed for the TCC tournament, which begins Saturday at Marquette.
Putnam County has a bye and will face the winner of the Roanoke-Benson/Lowpoint-Washburn versus Midland game in a semifinal at 6:30 p.m. Monday.
“This definitely changes our perception, but we understand we still have areas we have to work on that teams can exploit against us,” Barnett said about the team’s status entering the tournament. “We have to get to work in practice fixing those areas. The girls understand and they’re willing to work. … Tonight really makes this week a lot easier on everybody. It gets the girls excited about practice for the week and it gets my mindset better so I’m a little easier to get along with. I like where we’re at right now.”
It was evident early it would be a spirit-lifting game as Streator was no match for the Lady Panthers.
PC senior Carly Gonet drained a 3-pointer on the first possession of the game, and classmate Daniela Pavlovich swiped back-to-back steals that led to fast-break layups for an early 7-2 lead.
The Lady Panthers kept pouring it on as Pavlovich hit a pair of 3-pointers, knocked down two free throws and scored another transition basket with 6.5 seconds left in the quarter to help PC take a 35-6 lead after the first eight minutes.
“Everybody played well and it started with Daniela and Carly at the beginning,” Barnett said. “They both were hitting shots. Daniela was getting some easy buckets in transition. Carly stepped up and shot well tonight. The ball was leaving her hand well. That helps everybody get going. Everybody stepped in and did their role. That’s all we ask of them right now.”
With such a large lead throughout the game - the Lady Panthers led 48-12 at halftime and 61-25 after three quarters - Barnett was able to play all 12 dressed players, and 11 of the 12 players scored.
“It provides great experience,” Barnett said. “We have five seniors and when we get games like this, we can put all five of them in there. … It also gives us a chance to mix in the sophomores with the juniors so they get used to playing with each other for next year. It serves a couple purposes and it’s real nice to get to do that.”
Gonet and Pavlovich each scored a game-high 16 points and Pavlovich had four steals.
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