With a slow start, the Auburndale girls basketball team needed a strong second half if they wanted to dash the hopes of upset-minded Pittsville.
By only allowing seven points in the second half, Auburndale got exactly what they needed as they cruised to a 42-20 victory Tuesday night in Marawood Conference South-Division play.
With the win, Auburndale remains undefeated on the young season at 4-0, while keeping the Panthers in search of their first victory.
"We were a little rough in the first half on offense, but that's a lot to their (Pittsville) credit," Auburndale coach Liz Nagel said. "They didn't give us any easy looks early on with tough defense, and we came out flat."
That flat start still gave Auburndale an 11-6 lead after the first quarter, but Pittsville kept Auburndale in its' sights.
The Panthers quickly tied the game at 13-13 shortly into the second quarter with a quick seven point outburst that was sparked by a three-pointer by Tasha Vogel, but Auburndale was able to tack on four-unanswered points to take a 17-13 lead into the intermission.
For the game, Pittsville held an advantage in the rebound department at 29-24, but were unable to convert on their extra opportunities as they turned the ball over 24 times- with the majority being forced by intense Auburndale pressure in the second half.
"We played good defense tonight," Pittsville coach Ashley Normington said. "We were OK on offense, but we are not where we need to be. The second halves of the games this year are what beat up on us."
Despite the slow start, Auburndale put that in the past, and started to play how they had intended from the onset.
Auburndale's defense stifled the Panthers allowing them just seven points in the second half- including just one point in the third frame. They also allowed just three Panthers to score, with Marissa Ortner leading the pack with 11 points while Tasha Vogel and Sarah Schmitz dropped in 5 and 4 points respectively.
Auburndale 42, Pittsville 20
AUBURNDALE (42): Shannon Yahnke 12, Nicole Nikolay 9, Mikayla Jankowski 8, Emma Stevens 5, Becky Willfahrt 3, Kendra Kundinger 2, Kayla Gotz 2, Stafani Karl 1.
PITTSVILLE (20): Marissa Ortner 11, Tasha Vogel 5, Sarah Schmitz 4.
3-Pointers: Auburndale 1 (Becky Willfahrt) Pittsville 1 (Tasha Vogel.)
Records: Auburndale 4-0 overall, 3-0 Marawood Conference South-Division, Pittsville 0-6 overall, 0-3 Marawood Conference South- Division.