MERIDEN — The Wilcox Tech girls basketball team opened its season Tuesday night with a road trip — about half a mile down Oregon Road to take on neighboring Platt.
The Panthers were in control for the majority of the game and cruised to a 50-29 non-conference victory that evened their record at 2-2.
Everyone in Platt’s starting lineup contributed to this victory. Kiara Lopez and Wallica Bailey scored 11 points apiece. Julia Misner and Madison Chatman each had eight points.
“We played as a team and we passed the ball around really well tonight,” said Platt head coach Tina Gonyea. “Hopefully, we can build off of this win. That’s what you hope for after every game.”
The third quarter was the turning point Tuesday night. After a competitive first half in which Wilcox was still within reach at 23-15, the Panthers put together a 19-4 third quarter to take a firm 23-point lead into the fourth.
Rebounding and turnovers hurt Wilcox throughout the game. Platt crashed the boards after every shot, creating many second chances. Platt’s aggressive defense also caused Wilcox turnovers, creating many fast break opportunities for the Panthers.
“We had a real tough time with their man-to-man defense and we didn’t rebound particularly well,” said Wilcox head coach Rob Janiga. “Our kids fought hard. We’re not real deep on the bench, we have a lot of young and inexperienced kids, but I’m proud of them for playing hard. Platt deserved this win.”
There were some bright spots for Wilcox. Samantha Petro scored 11 of the Tribe’s 15 first-half points. She hit three 3-pointers in the first quarter and was a consistent threat from deep when left open. Petro finished with 13 points
Kayla Ransom came alive late in the game, scoring eight of her 10 points in the fourth quarter. Ransom showed confidence in taking the ball to the basket along with being a viable jump shooter.
“This was our first game and, if we can be a little more efficient on passing the ball and not turning it over, then I think we’ll be okay,” said Janiga.