PERRYVILLE — Aleigha Gangemi’s scoring proved the difference in Elkton’s victory over Perryville on Monday afternoon.
Gangemi led her team in scoring and finished with a game-high 19 points in the Golden Elks’ 55-45 victory over the Panthers. Gangemi tallied four triples in the win and totaled 11 of her 19 points in the first half.
“I was just getting it to the open player and being able to beat my defender,” Gangemi said. “Plus my big [Malana Redden] dumping it in and her kicking it back out really helped me too.”
Elkton Head Coach Gabe Sherrod described Gangemi as one of Elkton’s main scoring options.
“She’s a shooter,” Sherrod said. “She worked on it all week in practice, we took about somewhere between 200 and 300 shots last week at one of our practices just getting shots up. It’s what she does and it’s nice for her to do it at game time.”
Elkton held a 12-point lead at halftime, which the Golden Elks extended to 17 halfway into the third quarter. Perryville responded with a 15-4 run to close out the third frame and saw Elkton hold a 38-32 advantage entering the final quarter.
Perryville’s third quarter run was capped off by a bucket-at-the-buzzer by Sarah Kilby to pull the Panthers within six points. Kilby ended the night with a team-high 14 points, all of which came in the second-half.
Panthers Head Coach Erin Flenard said she moved her handful of junior varsity players up to the varsity roster prior to the game due to Elkton’s lack of a junior varsity team. Kilby was one of those players to get the call to the varsity roster.
The Perryville freshman also joined the Perryville varsity roster during The Green-n-Gold Holiday Tournament in late December.
“Watching her today, she really executed in certain areas, she knew when to drive, she knew when to be patient,” Flenard said of Kilby. “Watching that light bulb go off on her and see her smile, that was great, especially for the other JV girls watching her.”
“I got in the game and I shot and I made it and then I kept shooting and it kept going in,” Kilby said. “I tried to talk to the rest of my team to say if they can drive to the basket and then pass it out I’ll shoot or they can cut in.”
Kilby’s seven points apiece in the last two quarters however, were not enough to put Perryville on top. In the final four minutes of the game and Perryville trailing 47-41, Elkton opened up an 8-4 run to seal the win.
Sherrod said his team’s defensive game plan focused around limiting Perryville’s two main scoring threats Alyssa Stanley and Cienna Lilly. Stanley entered Monday with back-to-back 20-point outings in Perryville’s last two wins over Tri-State Christian and North East.
Lilly finished with nine points for Perryville, while Stanley ended the day with four points.
“We came in wanting them to beat us with other people and credit to [Kilby], she kept them in the game late,” Sherrod said. “The team was kind of looking at me like ‘she keeps shooting.’”
Perryville’s loss snapped a two-game winning streak for the Panthers. Perryville will cross the Susquehanna for its next matchup against Havre De Grace on Jan. 17.
The win is the second-straight victory for the Golden Elks after knocking off Bel Air on Jan. 5. The Elks will continue on the road in its next four matchups against C. Milton Wright, Rising Sun, Edgewood and Oxford.