Despite missing two players to illness and one to injury, the Saratoga High School girls' basketball team managed to split games over the weekend. While the Panthers lost 48-32 in Encampment Friday, they logged a comeback victory against Kaycee at home Saturday, ultimately taking that game by about 20 points.
"I felt like the girls played really well in Encampment. I was really pleased by their effort even though it wasn't a win for us," said Panthers coach Heather Bartlett. "They just played really hard. They played great."
Saturday, against Kaycee, it seemed like the losses were going to keep piling up. Saratoga fell behind by an 8-point deficit in the first quarter, and Bartlett called a time out to regroup.
With leadership from the starting seniors, Bartlett said the team was able to regain its composure and come back. By half, Saratoga had established a 20-17 lead, and the Panthers never retracted their claws.
Senior Meredith Lincoln, who had suffered a deep thigh contusion the week before, lead the offensive effort against Kaycee, notching 22 points. Shaelee Hamann added 7 points of her own, and several other Panthers also added on, making for a balanced score sheet. "We were able to kind of pull away after half," Bartlett recalled.
On the defensive side, Bartlett praised senior Katie Loose, who limited Kaycee's best player to 10 points. "(Loose) is a really consistent defensive leader for us," Bartlett said. The coach also noted sophomore Mychaela Jackman's 5 steals in the contest.
Upcoming, the Panther girls will take on Walden 5 p.m. Jan. 27 in Walden. More importantly, they will have a home conference matchup against Snake River the following day.
"I don't know that much about Walden. Snake River will be really tough," Bartlett predicted. "We'll prepare all week to play them."