PAXTON — Amanda Ypya and Hannah Wascher were taking turns filling the role of leading scorer Saturday night.
But Ypya, a PBL senior guard, ended up with the higher scoring output against Wascher, a Rantoul senior forward, and the last laugh in the Panthers’ 56-53 nonconference win.
Ypya led all scorers with 31 points, including a clutch three-pointer in the fourth quarter that extended PBL’s lead to eight points at the time.
“We’re not a one-person show,” PBL coach Clarissa Gross said. “It takes all 11 of our girls for us to win a basketball game. Yes, Ypya does some things pretty well, but she wouldn’t be able to do that without her team. She’s a good ballplayer, but she’s got girls around her that make her look even better.”
Wascher wasn’t far behind with 29 points to go along with 13 rebounds and four blocked shots. Wascher — with 1,577 career points — now sits 20 points away from breaking the school’s all-time scoring mark set by 1998 graduate Yolanda Smith. The Eagles next play Monday night at home against rival Mahomet-Seymour.
PBL (14-4) darted out to a 22-10 lead and again led 41-27 midway through the third quarter, but the Eagles (6-12) didn’t go away.
“We started off extremely strong, and then sometimes we just get into a cruise control feel,” Gross said. “We forget why we got the lead, and I’m not exactly sure why. At this late in the season you’d expect just the opposite. We’ve got some stuff to figure out.”
A three-pointer by Rantoul sophomore guard Jasmine Riggs trimmed the Eagles’ deficit to 47-42 with 5:55 left in the fourth quarter. A three by sophomore guard Rachel Mullen with 3.5 seconds left made PBL’s lead only stand at 56-53, but the Eagles could not muster a foul after PBL inbounded the ball to run the clock out.
“We didn’t quit,” Rantoul coach Jeff McKaufsky said. “I knew if we could get shots up, we’d get back in the ballgame.”