PRINCETON — Carly Gonet tried her best to shoot the Putnam County girls basketball team into the finals of the Tigresses Holiday Tournament.
Stark County, however, had other ideas.
Gonet hit five 3-point shots and finished with a team-high 20 points, but the Lady Panthers fell Friday to Stark County 58-38 in a winner-take-pool game.
In Friday’s other action at Princeton, Erie topped LaMoille-Ohio 65-33 to win its pool, while Midland beat Bureau Valley 51-23.
With Friday’s results, Stark County (3-0) will play Erie (3-0) at 7:30 tonight for the tournament title. Princeton (2-1) will play Putnam County (2-1) at 6 p.m. for third place, Midland (1-2) will meet Henry (1-2) at 4:30 p.m. for fifth and Bureau Valley (0-3) will play LaMoille-Ohio (0-3) at 3 p.m. for seventh.
Stark County 58, Putnam County 38
Gonet’s hot hand wasn’t enough as the Lady Panthers were unable to keep pace and never led.
PC trailed 10-6 after the first quarter but was outscored 18-9 in the second quarter as the Lady Rebels opened a double-digit lead at halftime.
“I felt we played hard, which was one of our keys,” first-year PC coach James Barnett said. “No matter the situation of the game, we wanted to continue to give everything that we had. I told the girls (after the game) that we might not have accomplished some of our other goals that we set for this game, but we did do that and we can leave tonight with our heads held high because we did play hard.”
The Lady Panthers clawed back to within 11 points midway through the third quarter after a putback by junior Stephanie Wilson and a 3-point shot by Gonet, but PC never pulled within single digits.
Gonet finished with 11 points in the first half and nine in the second half.
“She’s been very consistent and does very well within this offense running off screens,” Barnett said. “She’s a smart player who is learning how to read a defense and where the open spots are. And you also have to look at the screens our posts are setting for her, too. They are setting great screens and getting wide on their bases, and that’s what’s allowing her the time to get off her shot.”
Stark County had three players in double figures as junior Madisyn Paxson finished with a game-high 23 points and eight rebounds.
Both Taylor Pettit and Daniela Pavolvich added six points for PC, which plays the host Tigresses for third tonight.
“We’ve seen them play a couple of times, and they are a great defensive team,” Barnett said. “They are long, tall and athletic so it’s going to be a battle. We have to come and execute.”
Midland 51, Bureau Valley 23
The Storm fell behind early and lost despite scoring a season high in points.
Nicole Bornsheuer paced BV as the junior post scored 15 points and grabbed 11 rebounds, while Irini Petros had seven rebounds and two steals.
Erie 65, LaMoille-Ohio 33
In the night’s opening contest, the Lady Lions were unable to stay with Erie, which won the pool to advance to the finals in its first year in the tournament.
Jared Bell can be reached at 220-6938, or at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @NT_SportsJared.