CHS girls battle back to beat Bulldogs

MARYSVILLE — It was a tale of two halves for the Concordia Panthers.
Managing just three field goals, none in the second quarter, Concordia fell behind unbeaten Marysville 27-12.
Led by senior Megan James and freshman Jordan Eshbaugh, the Panthers poured in 49 points in the second half and overtime to erase the 15-point deficit and capture a 61-58 North Central Kansas League victory over the Bulldogs Tuesday night.
James scored 18 of her game-high 21 points after halftime.
Eshbaugh tossed in 16 of her season-high 20 points over the final two quarters and overtime. She also pulled down 15 rebounds.
"I thought Megan did a great job the second half of taking control of the offense. Jordan was really big on the boards," Concordia coach Michael Wahlmeier said.
Concordia, now 5-3 overall and 2-3 in league play, trailed 10-6 after one quarter of play.
The Panthers did not score from the field in the second period, and hit 6 of 10 free throws while being outscored 17-6.
"I didn't feel like we were being very aggressive offensively and defensively we were letting them do whatever they wanted," Wahlmeier said.
Trailing 28-15 early in the third quarter, the Panthers went on a 13-0 run to pull even with Marysville, 28-28.
"Something clicked, and they played much harder and more like the team we had before Christmas break," Wahlmeier said.
Marysville, now 7-1 overall and 3-1 in the NCKL, got four straight points by Claire Cudney and a free throw by Kelly Caffrey to reclaim the lead at 33-28.
Eshbaugh scored inside for Concordia, but Rachel Heiman hit a three as time ran out in the third quarter to give the Bulldogs a 36-30 advantage.
A three by Abi Degenhardt early in the final period pushed Marysville's lead to nine points, 39-30, but the Panthers wouldn't back down.
Trailing 40-32, the Panthers got a layup by Tristan Leiszler, a three-point play by James, two free throws by Leiszler and a layup by Maggie Lambert to go up 41-40.
Connecting on four straight free throws, Marysville went on top, 44-41.
Concordia would tie the game at 48-48 when Molly Adams made one of two free throws with under a minute to play.
Degenhardt knocked down an 18-foot jumper with 5.5 seconds on the clock to give Marysville a 50-48 advantage.
Leiszler pushed the ball up the floor, but missed a shot in the lane.
James grabbed the offensive rebound and scored as time expired to force overtime.
Two free throws by Eshbaugh gave Concordia a 52-50 lead in the extra period.
Marysville tied the game on a basket by Degenhardt.
Eshbaugh again went two of two from the line, and Concordia led 54-52.
The Panthers hit their first eight free throws in overtime.
"That was big," Wahlmeier said.
Paige Landoll went one of two from the charity stripe, and Marysville trailed just 54-53.
Eshbaugh completed a three-point play to push Concordia's lead to 57-53 with 1:25 on the clock.
Marysville got as close as two points, 60-58, when Heiman scored with 17 seconds left.
Concordia turned the ball over, but the Bulldogs couldn't convert.
Eshbaugh hit one of two free throws with eight seconds to play, and the Panthers were up 61-58.
Degenhardt missed a three-point attempt to tie as time ran out.
"I didn't want it to be a moral victory. I wanted them to really feel that success. The difference between working hard and not, and I think they understand that now," Wahlmeier said.
Leiszler scored all eight of her points in the second half and overtime.
Lambert chipped in six points and Adams grabbed seven rebounds.
Concordia made 20 of 29 free throws in the game.
Heiman led Marysville with 18 points.
Degenhardt scored 17 for the Bulldogs.
Concordia hosts Chapman in a league game Friday night.

Gumm 1-0-4 2, Lambert 3-0-5 6, Collins 0-2-1 2, Adams 0-1-5 1, Eshbaugh 6-8-3 20, Boley 0-1-5 1, Leiszler 2-3-2 8, James 8-5-3 21. Totals: 20-20-28 61.
Cl. Cudney 3-3-3 9, Caffrey 0-2-5 2, Kort 0-3-3 3, Heiman 7-3-2 18, Degenhardt 6-4-3 17, Breashears 1-0-0 2, Landoll 0-1-5 1, Wicks 2-2-5 6. Totals: 19-18-26 58.


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