It took Regina’s team a little while to get its legs warmed up on Wednesday night. Once the Panthers started running, they never looked back, leaving St. Viator in the dust, 49-39.
The Lions jumped out to a quick 6-0 lead as the Panthers repeatedly turned the ball over in the opening minutes, including three consecutive turnovers after they fell behind 4-0. Regina turned the tide, however, forcing plenty of turnovers itself with an aggressive ball-hawking defense that shut St. Viator out for the remainder of the quarter.
The Panthers rode transition points to a lead they would never surrender. Sophomore guard Maggie Palmer gave Regina the lead by sinking one of two from the charity stripe after she followed through on a missed fast-break layup to draw the foul. Senior guard Erin Gavin pushed the Panthers’ lead to three following a Regina steal.
Regina would only be truly tested once more. Just like it came out slowly in the first half, it stumbled out of the locker room in the second half, letting a 22-17 halftime lead dwindle down to a single point. Soon after, Panthers coach Kerry Durham yelled at her senior center Caroline Adamczyk to “post up” and to “want it.” Durham’s words weren’t exactly heeded as Adamczyk drifted out to the perimeter, per usual, and swished a three-pointer to reinforce the Panthers’ lead. It was never close again as Regina went on a 20-8 run to seal the outcome.
“We’re trying to get some kind of inside presence,” Durham said, explaining her instructions to Adamczyk. “We’re running things so that we get something inside a little bit easier. Caroline likes the outside. She likes to float out to the outside. I’m just trying to get her to add a little more dimension to the game.”
Gavin was electric for the Panthers, scoring 12 points and notching several steals, but it was actually senior guard Lindsey Welch that led the way with 13 points. Meanwhile, sophomore guard Erin Fabbri led the Lions with 14 points, 12 of which came in the second half.