The Nease girls basketball squad has had several convincing victories this season, but nothing quite like its 65-7 win over visiting Fletcher Jan. 20.
The 58-point difference was the Panthers’ largest margin of victory on the year, and the seventh time they have won by 30 points or more, including their last three contests.
It is safe to say that the Panthers (18-3) are clicking in all phases of the game, and it could not be coming at a better time here at the end of the season.
“It’s a really great environment to be playing in right now,” Nease junior guard Cami Robinson said. “To have everyone on the bench being super hyped and having almost everyone score really helps bring it all together.”
All the reserve players saw extensive minutes during the game because of the blowout.
As a result, every player for Nease scored a point on the night, which shows the depth that the Panthers have on their roster.
“It’s great to see because they’ve improved so much since the beginning of the year,” Robinson said. “They have so much more confidence.”
That playing time may prove to be valuable for them in the future, especially if they are called upon to contribute in the postseason.
When the reserve players would score it brought the starters to their feet over on the bench as they continually let out roars and cheered on the effort.
“I think our team chemistry has really improved,” Robinson said. “We obviously know our plays, but even when we’re just freestyling out there, we’re more about each other than we did early in the season, which makes it a lot easier.”
Watching the Panthers play can bring a smile to your face, because they truly look like they are having fun on the court while maintaining a level of intensity.
One of the trademarks of the Panthers is to start the game playing full-court pressure defense, which helped Nease jump out to a 24-2 lead at the end of the first quarter and 41-4 at halftime.
“We like to come out fast,” Robinson said. “Our offense definitely feeds off of our defense.”
Sydney Gomes led the way with 14 points, while Robinson and Alli Fifield were not far behind with 13 and 11 points, respectively.
Sophomore Ella Harrison had a productive night as well with eight points.
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