The Superior Cathedral Panthers eighth-grade girls traveling basketball team finished in first place in the St. Joseph’s Invitational Tournament in Rice Lake last Saturday.
The Panthers went 4-0 on the day with wins of 30-11 over Spooner, 38-33 over Our Lady of Sorrows of Ladysmith, 28-25 over St. Joseph’s and 39-2 over St. Anthony’s of Park Falls.
Against Spooner, the game was tied 3-3 at the end of one quarter before the Panthers took a 15-6 lead into halftime. Hannah Kolanczyk and Lauren Sickler led the Panthers with nine points each. Carly Thatcher added eight points while Payton Glonek and Maggie Brown each had a basket. Brown also had six blocked shots and 12 rebounds before fouling out.
The Panthers trailed Ladysmith 11-3 at the end of the first quarter. However, the second quarter was all Superior, sparked by a 3-pointer by Kolanczyk and some strong inside play by Brown. The Panthers outscored Ladysmith 17-6 in the quarter to take a 20-17 lead at the half. Sickler led the way with 18 points. Kolanczyk and Brown added eight points each and Thatcher had four.
Brown had several more blocked shots and Kolanczyk held OLS’s Evyn Engelhardt to six points. In an earlier game OLS beat Cathedral 29-22 behind Engelhardt’s 17 point effort.
In a battle of 2-0 teams, St. Joseph led the Panthers 10-6 after one quarter and 14-10 at the half. The Panthers got within 18-16 after three quarters and the fourth quarter started with St. Joseph’s scoring on a basket by Brooke Olson. A steal and layup by Thatcher pulled Cathedral to within a basket at 20-18 and Cathedral then went ahead 24-20 on back-to-back 3-pointer by Kolanczyk.
After St. Joseph answered with a basket by Carly Shuebel, Sickler sank a free-throw to push the lead back to three. After an exchange of free throws by Cathedral’s Nicole Presuhn and St. Joseph’s Rachel Ohde, the Panthers led 26-23. Thatcher then found Presuhn open under the basket for a 28-23 lead with 32 seconds left. Rice Lake’s Mary Brodzinski closed out the scoring with two free throws.
Thatcher and Kolanczyk had eight points each. Sickler added five points, Presuhn had three, while Glonek and Brown each added two. Brodzinski was held to four points after scoring 20 points in a 43-42 overtime win over the Panthers earlier this season.
The Panthers jumped out to a 12-0 first-quarter lead on Park Falls and never looked back to wrap up the tournament championship.
Cathedral was led by Julianna Certa-Werner, Glonek and Thatcher with eight points each. Brown added seven points, Kolanczyk had four, and Presuhn and Sickler had two each. The Panthers were without Kylee Maccoux, who was out with a sprained ankle.
The Panthers (21-10) are in action Saturday at Cloquet and then will wrap up their season by hosting a GNBL Tournament Feb. 23 at Superior Cathedral School.
Play is scheduled to begin at 8 a.m. and will feature teams from the Superior Basketball Association, Duluth East, Hermantown and Ashland.