Monarchs shock Panthers with 2nd win

By Andrea Camarena

The biggest rematch of this season's East Sequoia League paired the reigning Exeter Monarchs against the girls basketball powerhouse and once undefeated Corcoran Panthers last Tuesday in the Monarchs' home territory.

In their second league meeting of the 2004-2005 season, the Monarchs downed Corcoran and ended the Panthers' five-year league win streak.

The Panthers and Monarchs met for the first time this season in Exeter's gym in front of the same home crowd that rooted them to their last victory over the Panthers. The Monarchs reaffirmed their program's strength as they dominated Corcoran in three straight quarters on their way to a 66-61 Exeter victory.

The Monarchs returned to the court with nearly the same team that defeated the Panthers last season. But this rematch saw an altered Panther squad that lost several starting seniors to graduation.

Exeter featured four of five returning starters from last year's Monarch team. Returning three-year senior, Tiffany Marinos stepped onto the court to dominate the boards at her 6-foot stance.

Senior Jody Williamson returned to her familiar position as the Monarchs starting point guard dishing out seven assists.

Last year's surprise standout sophomore, Abby Bloetscher stepped onto the floor and churned out 19 points to be the top scorer for the night.

Exeter's third returning senior, Amanda Morgan, also entered the court among the starting five.

Standing at 6-2, Bloetscher put the first points on the board opening the game with a layup to ignite the Monarchs 16-2 run. Bloetscher made it look easy as she led Exeter to outscore the Panthers 23-10 in the first quarter.

Corcoran's returning team leader, Torreya Edwards led the Panthers offense but she alone wasn't enough to get within 10 points of the Monarchs. Exeter's Courtney Whitlock ended the half with a two-point shot that brought the score up to 39-23 at the half.

After the break, the Monarchs returned to the court with the same aggressive defense and high scoring offense that shut down Corcoran's efforts in the first half. The Monarchs, with scoring coming from across the roster, pulled way ahead to end the third quarter with a 54-37 lead.

But Corcoran came back to life in the final quarter and closed the spread to within 5 points of the Monarchs outscoring them 24-12. But Exeter held strong to take the 66-61 win over the once unbeatable Panthers.

Bloetscher was the Monarchs leader for the night with 19 points, 15 rebounds and two blocks. Callie Souza also delivered an offensive slap to the Panthers with 18 points and six rebounds. Whitlock finished up the night with 17 points while Williamson totaled seven assists.

The Monarchs went on to advance their league record to 2-0 when they traveled to Dinuba to take a 57-38 win over the Emperors.

Exeter's overall record now stands at an impressive 10-4.

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