SSC 46, MLS 48
STANDISH-STERLING - Dec. 8, 2008 - Standish-Sterling's girls basketball team always comes into the season with lofty goals, and to reach those the Panthers usually schedule the toughest competition they can find early in the season.
So while SSC coach Kevin King would rather not be 0-3 heading into Friday's NEMC opener at Tawas Area after falling 48-46 to Michigan Lutheran Seminary on Monday, he's used to seeing the big picture.
"We've improved every night against some tough competition," he said. "Seminary has all their starters back from a team that beat us by eight last year. By the end of the game I felt we had all the momentum on our side; if it had gone on a little longer I think we could have gotten this one."
SSC trailed through most of the contest and by as many as 11 points in the third quarter. The Panthers were down 35-28 heading into the final eight minutes, but Abbye Gulvas, held scoreless through three quarters, buried a pair of 3-pointers to ignite SSC's comeback. Ellen Walderzak tied the score with a basket with 20 seconds left, but the Panthers fouled Seminary all-stater Gracie Baumgartner with time winding down.
Baumgartner drilled both shots to wrap up the win.
"We're not happy to lose," King said. "But I told the girls we're making some good strides."
Baumgartner was the only player to reach double figures in the game with 17.
All 10 Panthers scored, with Kelsey Mielke, Christina Proulx and Walderzak each scoring seven and Gulvas adding six.
The Panthers travel to Tawas on Friday for a 6 p.m. contest to lead off a varsity doubleheader, followed by the boys season-opener.