New year translates into new start for Mehlville High girls

By STEPHEN GLOVER

A new year has translated into a new be-ginning for the Mehlville Senior High School girls’ basketball team.

The Panthers started 2007 with a four-game winning streak, including Friday’s 63-53 victory at home over Lindbergh.

“They (Lindbergh) came out and hammered us in the first quarter,” Mehlville head coach Laura Bishop said. “We had two players out due to disciplinary reasons and we just didn’t have any speed.”

Mehlville (9-4, 2-2 Suburban West) battled the Flyers to a 20-20 tie after the first quarter, before taking a 41-31 lead at halftime.

The Panthers extended their lead to 53-39 after the third quarter. But the Flyers trimmed Mehlville’s lead by four points in the fourth quarter.

Mehlville’s Alyse Gordon led all scorers with 25 points and five rebounds. The senior forward also recorded three assists and one blocked shot against the Flyers.

“Alyse is exceptionally pumped up in that game,” Bishop said. “I thought that she had a really good first half.”

Laquisha Lewis also scored in double figures for the Panthers with 13 points and six rebounds. Most of the senior guard’s points were scored in the second half. But she added to her solid effort with three assists, two blocked shots and one steal.

“Most of Laquisha’s points came in the second half,” Bishop said. “But when she’s on, she’s really on.”

Senior forward Kayla Gordon racked up 12 points, six rebounds, five assists and two blocked shots against Lindbergh. But it was her defense that had the Mehlville coaching staff talking.

“I think that defensively, she was our best player that night,” the Mehlville High coach said. “She did a great job of blocking out and controlling the boards.”

The Panthers are back in action at 7 p.m. today — Jan. 18 — when they travel to Oakville for one of the more important games of the season. Oakville (7-4, 1-1 Suburban West) is not only a conference opponent, but also a district opponent.

“It will affect our conference standings and our district seeding, so it’s going to be a tough game for us,” Bishop explained. “I’m also going to be coaching against the girls that I coached last year.”