Fourth-Quarter Surge Leads Maumee Girls Basketball Over Lake

Maumee junior Lucy Porter (13) puts up a shot after driving around the Defiance defenders. MIRROR PHOTO BY SEAN WALKER

BY JEREMY SCHNEIDER | MIRROR SPORTS — It’s only about one-third of the way through the season, and the Maumee girls basketball team has already won more games this season than they have in more than five years.

The Panthers used a stellar fourth-quarter run to seal off Lake and take a 41-34 win in a Northern Buckeye Conference game last week. The win moved Maumee’s record to 4-4 overall and 3-3 in the conference.

“Winning a game like that has not happened in the past,” said Panthers coach Rafael Soler. “I think we still doubt ourselves sometimes even though this team is capable of great things. Hopefully, this is the start of more league victories and we continue to do the little things that win games.”

Neither team could build a substantial lead throughout the first three quarters, with the game tied at 16-16 at halftime and the Flyers holding a 25-23 lead entering the fourth.

The final quarter belonged to the Panthers, though, as they outscored Lake 18-9.

Turnovers have plagued Maumee this year, as it entered the game averaging 24. In Tuesday’s win, the Panthers had just 14 miscues.

“All of our guards played great games and we had our season low in turnovers,” Soler said. “This is not something that happened by chance; the girls have been putting in the work to make this happen.”

Junior Lucy Porter had her fourth double-double of the season, posting 20 points with three 3-pointers and 14 rebounds. She is averaging nearly 15 points and nine boards per game.

Porter’s night almost came apart in the second half, as she inadvertently grabbed a rebound under Lake’s basket and scored, giving the Flyers two points. After coming off the court and collecting herself on the bench, Porter came back with a new fire.

“It really speaks to Lucy’s character,” Soler said. “The coaching staff told her that we needed her to finish the game at her best for us to win this game. She came through for us in the fourth quarter and showed the type of leader she is. Everyone makes mistakes, but what is important is how you respond after.

“Getting 14 rebounds is no easy task. She was relentless in going after the ball, and I have never seen her with that much tenacity on the boards.”

Taylor Smith had eight points, five boards and four assists, and Anna Zheng added four points, three rebounds, two assists and three steals.

Freshman Reign Hurt hit a 3-pointer in the second half that helped spark the Panthers’ game-ending run. Soler said Hurt has been a huge spark for the team coming off the bench.

“We as a staff have been trying to figure out our rotations and would like to get Reign some more playing time,” Soler said. “She is really starting to understand her role and is never afraid to shoot the ball. I see big things from her for the rest of this season and the rest of her high school career.”

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