Dons pound panthers in blowout victory2 min read

Women’s team cruises to easy win fueled by dominant defense


Ernie Chang

Freshman forward Madison Michellis (13) drives to the hoop for a layup. The Dons beat the visiting Hartnell Panthers 76-21 on Friday Jan. 17.

Jeff Facun

The De Anza College women’s basketball team cruised to a 76-21 victory over the visiting Hartnell Panthers on Friday Jan. 17.

The Hartnell Panthers played with only six players, a predicament that put them at a disadvantage the whole game against the Dons. Substituting was at a premium for them while the Dons had enough players to substitute all five starters out.

From start to finish, the Dons dominated every aspect of the game.

Whether it was the offense generated at one end or the shutdown defense played at the other, the Dons took it to the Panthers.

Sophomore point guard Shayla McPhearson scored 16 points. Freshman forward Madison Michelis scored 20 points and sophomore forward/center Susan Aguirre added 11 points as the three players went for double figures in scoring for the night.

“Everyone in our team contributed,” said freshman center/forward Gabby Whetstone, who scored a game-high 20 points to aid in the win.

As the game tipped off, McPhearson scored a quick layup and the team didn’t look back.

The Dons were relentless on the defensive end all night, forcing Hartnell into turnovers that led to easy fast break points.

The defense produced great offense and the Dons carried a 32-point lead into halftime, 44-12.

After the break, the Dons extended their lead to 56-12 after going on a 12-0 run in the first five minutes of the second half.

From there, both teams combined for 29 points the rest of the game and that ended the scoring.

De Anza head coach Arden Kragalott reprimanded the team many times during the game about their efforts on defense, making sure the Dons were doing what she asked them to do.

“Play aggressive, put pressure on the ball,” Kragalott said. “That was our game plan.”

“(Coach) does that,” said Whetstone, in response to the head coach’s call for tough defense. “It motivates you more than anything.”

The team held the Panthers to 12 points in the first half and nine points in the second half.

Kragalott was not interested in the number of points given up in the second half, but wanted to acknowledge the defensive effort from the team.

“We are capable of that,” said Kragalott, referring to the defensive effort.

The victory gave the Dons 12 wins on the season and brought their record to 3-0 in conference play.

The next home game for the Dons is on Wednesday Jan. 29 at 5 p.m. against Foothill College.