Strong rebounding not enough for Maxwell Lady Panthers lose league opener to Quincy

Despite a strong rebounding effort, Maxwell High School’s varsity girls basketball team suffered a 51-31 defeat against visiting Quincy on Friday night.

The Lady Panthers, who have been idle since a power outage in Esparto suspended their Jan. 18 game in the fourth quarter, committed nine turnovers in the first eight minutes to aid Quincy’s early advantage.

Quincy’s Anna Hollister buried six 3-pointers and posted a game-high 23 points, equaling Maxwell’s total offensive output over the first three quarters.

“We needed to get a hand in her face and be a bit more aggressive,” Maxwell coach D.J. Mathis said. “It’s a confidence issue that we’re working on.”

Maxwell ended the night with 20 turnovers, which created many extra scoring opportunities for the Lady Trojans (2-1 Mountain Valley League, 9-8).

Alejandra Ruiz and Brenda Cano grabbed eight rebounds each to lead Maxwell’s effort on the boards. Unfortunately for the Lady Panthers, the rebounds did not enable them to close the gap in the second half.

“Sometimes we aren’t able to set up our offense and find the open player,” Mathis said. “Other times when we need to take a shot, we panic and get rid of it or kick it out instead.”

Sophomore Audrey Pearson turned in a well-rounded performance for the Lady Panthers with a team-leading four assists, three steals and seven rebounds.

Senior Mallory Mathis and junior Mireya Ocampo carried the offense with 11 points and seven points, respectively. Ocampo and Makayla Mitchell grabbed six rebounds each.

“We were boxing out well and getting rebounds,” Coach Mathis said. “We still need to cut down on our turnovers and take care of the ball.”

Though league play began last week, Maxwell has two games to make up. Friday’s (Jan. 20) four-team marathon versus Portola was also postponed due to a power outage. School in Maxwell was also canceled that day. Make-up dates for that and the unfinished Esparto contest had not been announced as of press time.

The Lady Panthers (0-1 MVL, 3-6) host Biggs in a four-team marathon on Wednesday with games as follows: 3 p.m. (JV girls), 4:30 p.m. (JV boys), 6 p.m. varsity girls, 7:30 p.m. (varsity boys).

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