GOOSE LAKE — For the final three quarters, the Northeast girls basketball team gave visiting Monticello plenty of fits.
The first quarter, however, proved to be all Panthers.
Buoyed by five three-pointers and the Rebels’ own cold shooting, Monticello jumped out to a huge 25-2 lead after eight minutes of action.
From that point onward, Northeast outscored its guests, 37-30, but the damage had been done in the Panthers’ 55-39 victory.
Monticello knocked down three three-pointers as part of an 19-0 run to open the game and then followed the Rebels’ first hoop — a Claire Abbott shot inside — by burying two more threes to stake itself to a big lead.
Northeast began to turn the tide in the second quarter, largely behind Abbott, who contributed eight of the Rebels’ 10 points in the stanza.
Still, the hosts faced a 37-12 deficit entering the half.
Needing quick points to eat into the Panthers’ lead, the Rebels turned up their defensive pressure in the second half.
As a result, Northeast surpassed their first-half offensive output in the third quarter alone (17-12).
Part of that push came in a 7-0 run — Valerie Spooner and Makenzie Petersen had free throws, while Claire Abbott and Bree Mangelsen added buckets — that cut the margin to 17.
The Rebels got even closer in the fourth quarter, using three-pointers by Spooner and Alexis Ehlers to make it a 13-point contest late before the Panthers scored the final four points to create the final margin.
Abbott led the way for the Rebels with 18 points. Ehlers added six points, while Emma Fowler and Spooner each had five.