Panthers Run Past Spartans in Home Opener

Panthers Run Past Spartans in Home Opener

HANOVER, Ind. – Senior Alexis Nall (Mount Vernon, Ind.) posted a dominate performance to help propel the Panthers past Manchester on Saturday evening in Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference action from inside Collier Arena, 72-65. With the win, the Blue and Red have now won seven straight against the Spartans and have a perfect home record dating back to the 2012-13 season.

Hanover (3-3 overall, 2-0 HCAC) saw two players finish in double figures led by Nall with a game and season-high 30 points. The senior also added a game-high 18 rebounds while teammate senior Katie Hartman (Madison, Ind.) chipped in 18 points including four three-pointers.

Hanover wasted little time taking the early 5-0 advantage following a jumper by senior Kristin Mills (Cincinnati, Ohio) at the 6:39 mark. After surrendering a three-pointer, Nall went to work scoring five straight points to push the Panther advantage. However, it didn't stop there as the senior repeated her performance at the 1:32 mark in the opening stanza leaving Manchester without an answer, 19-14.

The second period saw Hanover look to extend their lead with a Hartman deep ball and another Nall layup just two minutes into the quarter, 24-15. Another short Panther run led by Mills helped boost the lead to double digits. The Blue and Red entered the intermission with the 38-22 advantage capped off by a sophomore Lexi Riggles (Danville, Ind.) three-pointer.

After a Nall free throw early in the second half, Manchester was able to slow the Panther attack and chip at the deficit before a senior Brooke Todd (Vevay, Ind.) jumper and a Hartman layup gave HC the 51-38 third period lead.  

Hartman dealt clutch in the fourth quarter as she hit a huge momentum shifting three followed by a Nall five-point surge that pushed the lead back to double figures. The Spartans got as close as three but were unable to finish as the Panthers deemed too much down the stretch claiming the home-opening victory.

The Blue and Red return to action on Saturday, Dec. 14 as they head to Defiance for a battle of HCAC unbeaten. Tip-off is set for 1 PM.