The Ellsworth Panthers girls’ basketball team braved the snow and traveled to Somerset Tuesday night, Nov. 26, for their first Middle Border contest of the season against the Spartans. The Panthers fell in a close game 58-53 after it was tied at 28 apiece at halftime.
Senior Kaitlyn Nugent had 12 points and junior Autumn Earney 10 in the first half to lead the Panthers. In the second half, head coach Jason Janke said Somerset’s size inside wore his team down though they stuck with the Spartans to the very end.
“I thought overall we played well enough to win the game," Janke said. “The girls really fought to the end and if we don't get Autumn's lay-up taken off the board, it's a whole different last two-plus minutes. We were forced to foul late because they could take care of the ball pretty well, but if it had been a one-point game, well, I'd like to have seen how they may have responded after being up 11 early in the second half."
Nugent led Ellsworth with 20 points while Earney had 13. Sophomore Hayley Bach added 8 points.
Ellsworth (1-1) next plays on Tuesday, Dec. 3, when they travel to Glenwood City to take on the Hilltoppers. They then go to Baldwin-Woodville on Friday, Dec. 6. The Panthers are on the road their first five games of the season before playing seven in a row at home.
Clear Lake 56, Spring Valley 41
The Cardinals (0-1) dropped their season opener at home to Clear Lake on Tuesday night. They host Chetek-Weyerhaeuser on Tuesday, Dec. 3.