Mehlville girls' winning streak set back by Panthers' 64-50 loss to Marquette
Although many in the girls' high school basketball community may have questioned the seeding for the upcoming District No. 8 tournament, the Mehlville Panthers earned their No. 2 seed.
Yet when you analyze the Panthers' schedule, they did post wins over Lindbergh, Oakville and Fox this season, which validates their current ranking in districts.
But with a squad that starts two freshmen and one sophomore, the Panthers' head coach has been impressed with their 15-9 overall record with a 3-14 mark in Suburban West Conference action.
"We've been playing pretty good," Panthers' head coach Ed Feibig told the Call. "I think there's a lot of people surprised at how we've done and of them is me too."
The Panthers have been on a hot streak after winning five of their last seven games.
"We're playing as well as we have all year," Feibig said.
"We're starting to rebound well and play really good defense."
Mehlville did suffer a setback last Friday as the team experienced a 64-50 loss at Marquette.
"They (Marquette) didn't miss any free throws until the last few minutes of the game," Feibig said.
But one of the biggest obstacles that the Panthers had to overcome was Marquette's 6-foot-4-inch center Kathryn Sprague who pumped in 19 points, five blocks and three rebounds in the Mustangs' win over Mehlville.
"When you have a kid that's 6-(foot-)4-(inches), you can guard up four on four and take away our inside game," Feibig said. "She really made us alter our shots."
Despite the loss, the Panthers had two players score in double figures in Kayla Gordon and Michelle Senf.
Gordon, the Panthers' starting freshman forward, racked up 16 points, three rebounds and one blocked shot in the Mehlville loss. Of Gordon's 16 points, 12 were scored from the three-point range.
"We came out after the first half and she was the kid that they were not guarding at the top of the arc," Feibig said. "Then they started guarding her and left someone else open."
That someone else was sophomore forward Michelle Senf, who recorded 12 points, 10 rebounds and three blocks. It was her fifth double-double of the season, which was more than enough for her to grab first-team all-Suburban West Conference honors.
"She actually did not have a good night shooting-wise," Feibig said. "When you see that she had a double-double in that game, it really says a lot about her."
Now it's a wait-and-see game for the Panthers as they've received a first-round bye in the district tournament and will play the winner of the Fox vs. Lindbergh game at 7 p.m. Thursday.
"They (Lindbergh and Fox) are two different types of teams and I'm not looking forward to playing either one of them," Feibig said.
"If we were to get past that game, we would have to play Cor Jesu and we would have to play perfect in order to win that one,'' the coach added.
The district championship game will be at 7 p.m. Saturday. All District No. 8 games will be played at Vianney High School, 1311 S. Kirkwood Road, Kirkwood.