Parkway junior Kayle Heckler powers the ball up inside during the Lady Panthers’ 46-39 loss at Versailles on Monday night. Heckler scored two points in the defeat. (Times Bulletin/Pat Agler)
By John Parent
Times Bulletin Sports Editor
VERSAILLES — The Parkway Lady Panthers made the trek down U.S. 127 on Monday night to take on Midwest Athletic Conference leading Versailles. Though Parkway played a strong game, the Lady Tigers proved too much in a 46-39 win.
The victory moves Versailles to 15-2 overall and 7-0 in MAC play. Parkway falls to 6-9 overall and 1-5 in conference.
Versailles, ranked ninth in Division III in the latest AP poll, jumped out to a 12-5 lead after one quarter, and though they would extend the advantage to 35-25 after three, the Lady Panthers never gave up and closed within two possessions before falling short. After the rough start, Parkway played Versailles to a flat-footed tie at 34-34 the rest of the way.
Leading the way for Parkway was senior Cami Hellwarth, who was the only Lady Panther to score in double figures on Monday. After being held scoreless in the opening period, Hellwarth got on the board with a pair of buckets and a free throw in the second quarter, en route to a 14-point evening.
Senior Raegen Bransteter got the scoring started for Parkway in the opening quarter and she connected on one of the three Panther 3-pointers later in the game. Bransteter finished with nine points before fouling out. Fellow senior Ashlynn Henderson added six, by way of a pair of 3-point field goals, and Sierra Fent scored four in the loss, nearly eight points below her season average.
Versailles was paced by Lauren Bruns and Emily Harman, who combined for 11 of the 12 Lady Tiger points in the first period. Harman put up the first six Versailles points of the contest on her way to 13 for the evening. Bruns, meanwhile, finished with a game-high 18 points in the victory.
Though the Panthers weren’t able to topple Versailles on Monday, head coach Lynn Hughes certainly has a much improved team in her second year at the helm. Last season, the Lady Panthers suffered through a 3-20 campaign.
Parkway will return to action, weather permitting, on Thursday night when they hit the road to take on conference rival New Knoxville. The Lady Rangers are 11-4 this season and 3-2 in the MAC.
Score by quarters
Parkway 5 11 9 14- 39
Versailles 12 11 12 11- 46
Hellwarth 14, Gehron 0, Heckler 2, Bransteter 9, Heindel 4, Henderson 6, Walls 0, Fent 4
Kremer 0, A. Winner 5, Schlater 0, Hyre 0, Prenger 5, Bruns 18, Groff 0, T. Winner 1, McEldowney 0, Pothast 0, Puthoff 2, Harman 13, Heckman 2