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Imblerís Danika McIntosh had nine points and seven rebounds in the Lady Panthersí 43-13 victory over Elgin Tuesday night in a non-league contest. The win improves Imbler to 1-1 on the season, while the Huskies drop to 1-3. BRAD MOSHER - The Observer
ELGIN — Imbler’s girls basketball team found the cure for its bad “cold” Tuesday in Elgin.
After scoring less than 10 points in the second half of their previous game, the Panthers warmed up for a 43-13 non-league win.
Now Elgin coach Mike Slater has to look for the cure for his team.
“When your best scorer only has three points, you have a problem,” Slater said.
Both teams had trouble scoring in the first quarter, with Danika McIntosh helping the visiting Panthers take an 8-1 lead when she scored with 10 seconds left.
The Panthers turned hot in the second quarter, scoring 19 points to take a 27-5 halftime lead.
Malia Mills helped to ignite the Lady Panthers, getting two baskets early in the second quarter.
Elgin, still struggling to control the ball and get shots off, got its first basket of the game when Stormy Silver hit a short jumper with 6:45 left in the second quarter. That cut the Imbler lead to 12-3, but it would be another three minutes before the Huskies could score again — on Morgan Howes’ basket off an offensive rebound under the basket.
By that time, Imbler had built up a 21-5 lead.
In the second half, Elgin scored first when Miah Slater hit a free throw less than a minute into the third quarter.
It was almost four minutes later when Slater hit two free throws for the next Elgin points.
Those three points would be all of the Huskies’ scoring in the quarter as Imbler built up a 37-8 lead that allowed Panthers coach Barry Bowers to freely substitute players formost of the second half.
Imbler finished the game will all 10 players scoring, led by McIntosh’s nine points. Mills had eight points, while Maddy Lease put in six. Both Jessica McDaniel and Ally Fullerton finished with four points each. Jessica Teeter and Emily Bingaman each had three points, while Katie Barry, Emma Bowers and Stephanie McGilvray scored two points each.
Elgin’s Slater had three points -- all from the free throw line.
Howes, Silver, Kaitlyn Gilmor and Aria Higgins scored two points apiece. Senior Jessie Bottger and Katie Witherspoon added one point each.
“We started off slowly,” said the Imbler coach after notching the first win of the season. “It was just jitters. It is still early in the season.”
For the Elgin coach, it was watching his Huskies (1-3) dropping their third straight game after opening the season with a win over Griswold.
“We really missed our playmaker (Jordyn Anderson). She won’t be back for another week. So we had to push our young players. They are struggling right now,” Mike Slater added. The Huskies hit only four of 28 shots from the field (14 percent), while Imbler was hitting 41 percent.
The Huskies have only one senior one the varsity lineup, with most of the teammade up of freshmen and sophomores. “We may be struggling now, but my girls are smart and they are athletic. They will improve. I just don’t know exactly when it will happen,” he added.
Slater is hoping that when Anderson returns to the lineup the team will regain its confidence.