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Mehlville girls thrash St. Elizabeth's 63-32

In the first round of the South Side Classic last week, the Mehlville Senior High School girls' basketball team started off the season on a hot note.

The Panthers (2-1) opened up the year with a convincing 63-32 win over St. Elizabeth's. Mehlville head coach Ed Feibig believed that the game literally was won from the free-throw line. The Panthers nailed 31 of their 45 attempts from the charity stripe.

"We had a ton of free throws in that game," Feibig said. "We were just quicker and they had to foul us to stay in the game."

Mehlville's Valerie Pappademos led all scorers with 13 points. The senior guard also recorded four rebounds, one steal and one assist.

"Valerie's a quality point guard that handles and shoots the ball well," Feibig said. "She just gets a little better each game."

In the semifinal of the South Side Classic, the Panthers found themselves paired up against a very talented Hancock squad. Mehlville came out on the losing end in a 49-34 thumping by the Tigers.

"The reason they (Hancock) beat us was that we shot 22 percent on the floor and had 18 turnovers," the Mehlville coach said. "The game was close until there was about four minutes left. We were out of it because of their pressure defense."

Alyse Gordon lead the Panthers in scoring with nine points. The freshman forward also led Mehlville in rebounding with a solid seven boards.

"She (Gordon) did it all with the rebounds and put-backs she had," Feibig said. "She's averaging about eight points a game and that's not bad as a freshman in her first three games."

Mehlville's loss to Hancock forced them into the championship game of the consolation bracket against DuBourg. The Panthers had to work for their 44-42 win over the Cavaliers.

"That was such a close game," said Feibig. "It was a back and forth game and I think we're still trying to learn how to protect leads and staying intense throughout the game."

Carissa Pratt was on fire for the Panthers in the beginning minutes of the game as she nailed three three-point shots. The senior guard finished the win over DuBourg with 11 points, four rebounds, two assists and one steal.

"Carissa's a pure shooter," Feibig said. "She came out and hit three three's in the first two minutes of the game."

The Panthers open Suburban West Conference play at 5:30 p.m. Friday as they travel to Lafayette.

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