Monday represented a teaching opportunity for the Palatka High School girls basketball team – not to mention a winning opportunity.
The Panthers worked on pretty much everything in a relaxed setting, picking up their first win of the season while overwhelming Crescent City, 54-14 at the Panther Palace.
The Raiders’ had no answer for Palatka’s pressure in a game the home team led 11-2, 27-7 and 37-12 at the quarter breaks.
Cartashous Valentine scored 15 points and Kavayshia McCormick had 14 for the Panthers, many of their buckets following steals.
McCormick made eight steals, Diovoinne Fells six and Shi’ayna McCaskill six. Fells also scored eight points.
“They couldn’t handle the pressure, that’s all,” said PHS coach Craig Washington, not particularly pleased even though his team improved to 1-2. “We’re still playing in slow motion. For some reason, it’s like we’re playing in concrete. But it’s a good win for our confidence.
“Basically, we ran all our sets, all our plays and ran our press. Later on down the line, we’re going to need our press”
Rickeria Summers grabbed a team-high six rebounds for Palatka and proved an intimidating presence near the basket along with Amareya Turner, easing back into action after hurt an ankle a week ago.
“We were scared,” said Crescent City coach Veronica Glover. “We were defeated before we got here with our mentality. We don’t listen. We’ve got to be disciplined.”
Nierah Cooke was the only Raider who seemed willing to drive against the Panthers, evidenced by 14 opportunities at the free-throw line. She made only three, but still led her team with seven points.
“We’re working on attacking the basket and she’s trying to do that,” Glover said.
Crescent City is 1-2 and home tonight against Hawthorne.
Palatka begins District 5-6A competition Thursday against defending champion Ponte Vedra.