High school girls basketball: West Panthers stay undefeated in region 2 with 58-32 win over the Roy Royals

High school girls basketball: West Panthers stay undefeated in region 2 with 58-32 win over the Roy Royals

by James Tate

Close contest in first quarter

As in the first game between these teams, Roy was able to play a tough first quarter against West. Roy led West 18-15 after the first quarter in the first game; in this game, the Panthers led 13-10. The Royals played without the team’s second-leading scorer, sophomore Sienna Sanchez. The Royals still challenged the Panthers without Sanchez on every possession in the first quarter.

Royal’s junior forward Nicole Williams was a force inside early, drawing multiple fouls on the Panthers and then making four free throws. Williams’ three-point shot attempt before the quarter ended resulted in a Panther foul. Williams made two of three free throws. Panther’s freshman Kylee Falatea made a three-pointer and then a jump shot in the quarter, leading the team.

Panthers force Royals turnover in the second quarter

The Panthers started the second quarter with seven straight points to make the score 20-10 with 5:50 on the clock. The Panther’s scoring came from Kylee Falatea making a jump shot, junior Honey Hamilton making a three-point basket, and senior Emma Aiona making a layup. Royal’s senior Lylian Rosenberg ended the Royals scoring drought by making a layup. West freshman Laite Latu then quickly responded with two straight layups; the score was 24-12 with 5:00 left in the second quarter.

The Panthers used their size and length in the quarter to force the Royals into turnovers and missed shots. With 3:00 remaining in the quarter, the Panthers led 29-14. The Royals’ score came from junior Sienna Bodily making a layup. Sophomore Fina Tuha made a layup, and Aiono made a layup and free throw in scoring for the Panthers.

With 1:50 before halftime, the Royals got a spark from sophomore forward Jerzee Hart as she made a layup, blocked a shot, and made a spectacular steal that prevented a Panther layup. The halftime score was 30-20 in favor of the Panthers.

Panthers defense take control in second half

The Panthers stretched the lead over the Royals to 45-26 by the end of the third quarter. Panther sophomore Ka Kae Falatea made two three-point shots in the quarter to give the region-leading Panthers a cushion before the final period. The Panther played suffocating defense and held the Royals to 12 second-half points. Jazzi Prieto led the Royals scoring in the fourth quarter with four points on all four free throw attempts.

Outstanding performances

Kylee Falatea was the game’s leading scorer with 11 points, and Tuha scored 10 for the Panthers.

The Royal’s bright spot was the free throw shooting from Williams, making 7 of 9, and Prieto making all four attempts. Rosenberg led the team with 8 points and made two three-point shots.

photo courtesy of James Tate of Royals’ Lylian Rosenberg

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