HAMPSTEAD — The North Carroll Panthers girls basketball team got an early-seasontest last night facing Glenelg in Howard County.
And they passed with flying colors.
The Panthers scored the game's final eight points to come from behind for a 50-45 upset of the Gladiators, the seventh-ranked team in the The Sun's metro area poll.
Aside from leading, 3-2, early in the first quarter, the Panthers trailed throughout the game. But with 3 minutes 25 seconds left, Jennie Cooper hit a layup to give the Panthers a 46-45 lead.
Michelle Jeffery put in a rebound to push the lead to 48-45, then Kim Piccione scored the final basket. Glenelg was held scoreless in the final 3:30.
"I'm hoping this win will give us the confidence that we can play with any team," Panther coach Greg Knill said. "Nobody gave up, and everybody contributed."
The win lifts the Panthers' record to 2-1, while Glenelg falls to 1-1.
Though behind throughout most of the game, North Carroll stayed close, trailing, 30-28, at halftime.
The Gladiators had an early four-pointlead. But two first-quarter three-pointers by Jenni Heindel got the Panthers even, 11-11, before Glenelg went on a 7-0 run in the last two minutes of the quarter to finish it with an 18-11 lead.
The Panthers had trouble controlling Glenelg senior guard Tanissa Dorsey, whohad eight points in the first quarter and finished with a game-high 14.
After the two teams exchanged a pair of baskets to open the second quarter, the Panthers scored six unanswered points, capped by a pretty pick-and-roll play that Casey Rhoten finished off midway through the quarter.
The Panthers again drew even, this time at 28, when Rhoten put back a Heindel miss.
Glenelg regained the lead with one second left in the half when Debbie Snyder hit a layup and was fouled. She missed the free throw, and the half ended with Glenelg up, 30-28.
The Panthers came out cold in the second half, failing to score until only 4:30 remained in the third quarter.
But Glenelg couldn't take advantage, mustering only four points in that stretch to push the lead to 38-30.
The Panthers came to life midway through the third, scoring the final eight points of the quarter to tie the Gladiators at 40 entering the fourth.