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Pandora-Gilboa girls get first PCL win of season

Jan. 13—PANDORA — Pandora-Gilboa and Fort Jennings were looking for the same thing in Saturday's Putnam County League girls basketball matchup.

Both teams wanted to record their first PCL win of the season.

It seemed like Fort Jennings set the tone early on.

However, Pandora-Gilboa cashed in at the free-throw line, especially in the fourth quarter, to slip out with a hard-fought 55-49 victory over Fort Jennings.

With the win, P-G improved to 4-7 overall and 1-2 in the PCL. Fort Jennings slipped to 1-13 in all games played and 0-3 in the PCL.

"It feels good," P-G coach Cody Pelton said. "Every team in the PCL is competitive. They all play hard, and they're tough to beat. So, every one of them (PCL victories) feels good."

P-G did a great deal of damage at the free-throw line on Saturday.

For the game, P-G was 22 of 31 shooting from the charity stripe for 71 percent.

P-G sophomore Ava Huffman was 14 of 17 from the free-throw line on Saturday.

"She (Huffman) is a terrific free-throw shooter," Pelton said. "She's very good (going) downhill and getting to the free-throw line.

"In some of today's late-game situations — where she started pulling up and slowing up — I'm proud of her for not getting too fast with the basketball. ... We wanted to waste time, rather than score points. So, I'm really proud of her."

Maddie Rutschilling scored 13 points and pulled down nine rebounds for P-G. Savannah Knueven added 11 points and eight boards. Devin Draper had seven rebounds and four points for the Rockets.

Maggie Pothast, a 6-foot junior forward, led Fort Jennings and all players with 23 points, 13 rebounds and five blocks. Pothast connected twice behind the 3-point line. She was 10 of 13 shooting from the free-throw line. Teammate Hannah Grote had eight points, six rebounds and two assists for the Musketeers.

Pelton knew, coming in, that slowing down Pothast would not be an easy task.

"She (Pothast) is a really nice player," Pelton said. "She's a gifted scorer. She has a good touch around the rim. But they (Pelton's players) need to buy

in sooner on stopping a player like that. We discussed it before the game. But it takes them to see it live before they all adjust. ... We'll get better at that."

Pelton was especially pleased at how different players on his team stepped up throughout Saturday's contest.

"That's exactly what we talked about in the locker room — with different girls stepping up at different times," Pelton said. "We even asked some different things from the girls.

"Maddie (Rutschilling), who we ask to be an athletic player and be effective on defense and get out in transition, was more of a half-court scorer this game. So, that was really big for us."

Fort Jennings led 15-9 at the end of the first quarter. The Musketeers led 25-21 at the break.

The contest was knotted, 37-37 at the end of the third quarter.

However, P-G's 9 of 11 shooting from the free-throw line in the final eight minutes paved the way for the win. Huffman was 6 of 7 from the stripe in the fourth.

For the game, P-G shot 30 percent from the field. Fort Jennings connected on 29 percent of its field-goal attempts.

The Rockets held a 43-38 edge on the boards.

Fort Jennings committed 11 turnovers, while P-G turned the ball over 17 times.

"Give Fort Jennings credit," Pelton said. "They took away Savannah (Knueven) and Ava (Huffman, three field goals), who are two of our better scorers. But seeing Maddie (Rutschilling) and Devin (Draper) and some of the other girls step up, offensively, was the reason we won the game."

Pandora-Gilboa 55, Fort Jennings 49

Score by Quarters

Fort Jennings 15 10 12 12 — 49

P-G 9 12 16 18 — 55

FORT JENNINGS

Autumn Calvelage 4, Khloe Browning 2, Tenley Sarka 3, Addison Sarka 2, Lydia Dickman 1, Hannah Grote 8, Abigail Browning 6, Maggie Pothast 23. Totals: 17-11-49.

PANDORA-GILBOA

Lauren Teders 3, Maddie Rutschilling 13, Ava Huffman 21, Savannah Knueven 11, Ciel Wise 3, Devin Draper 4. Totals: 15-22-55.

3-pointers made: Fort Jennings — Tenley Sarka 1, Addison Sarka 1, Maggie Pothast 2; Pandora-Gilboa — Ava Huffman 1, Savannah Knueven 1, Ciel Wise 1

Records: Fort Jennings 1-13, 0-3 PCL; Pandora-Gilboa 4-7, 1-2 PCL