Sports Writer

HICKSVILLE - A dreadful fourth quarter proved costly for the Paulding girls basketball team on Tuesday night.

Hicksville outscored the Panthers 12-4 in the final eight minutes of action to come from behind for a 43-40 victory in the home opener for the Aces.

“We again failed to put four quarters together,” noted Paulding coach Samantha Schmenk.

The Panthers failed to make a field goal in the fourth quarter, losing a 36-31 lead after three in slipping to 1-2 on the season.

Rebounding and shooting proved to be downfalls for the visitors, which were outboarded 26-11 while connecting on just 15-44 field-goal attempts (34 percent) and 8-17 at the foul line (47 percent).

“We told the girls that there were going to be a few key things to tonight being a win, keeping girls in front of you, rebounding and making your inside shots,” Schmenk explained. “Our rebounding killed us tonight. They outrebounded us by far. And we also shot poorly from the free-throw line down the stretch. Our turnovers in the second half also had a huge contribution to the loss.”

Hicksville led 14-13 after one quarter before a change in defense lifted Paulding.

“We started out weak defensively but when we switched to a 2-3 zone, I thought that our girls adapted very well,” Schmenk said

A 13-9 second-quarter put the Panthers on top 26-23 at the half, with Chelsi Geisige scoring 11 points in the first two quarters of play.

“We had a decent lead during the second quarter, but they went on a few runs and before we knew it they were right back in the game,” Schmenk said.

Paulding upped the lead to 36-31 after three before Hicksville rallied, sparked by nine fourth-quarter points from Emily Sanders, who hit two 3s and was 3-4 at the foul line in the period.

“We had opportunities, it’s just taking advantage of those opportunities... and finishing,” Schmenk said. “We're a young team though, and we are seeing improvements from game to game and that’s the most important thing.”

Sanders scored 15 points to pace Hicksville while Katelyn Bergman tallied 13 points, 11 coming in the first half. While the Aces were just 5-16 at the foul line (31/3 percent), Hicksville was 16-35 from the floor (45.7 percent) including 6-14 from 3-point range (42.9 percent) in moving to 2-1 on the year

Geisige, who tallied nine points in the second quarter, finished with 13 points along with five assists for Paulding. Bri Townley was next in line with 10 points while Audrey Geisige chipped in eight points for the Panthers, which were 4-6 at the charity stripe for their only fourth-quarter points. Townley and Syd McCullough had three rebounds each for Paulding.

Score by Quarters

Paulding  13 13 10   4 - 40

Hicksville 14    9 8 12 - 43

Paulding 40: Pease 1-0-1-3; C. Geisige 6-0-1-13; Egnor 1-0-1-3; A. Geisige 1-2-0-8; Townley 3-0-4-10; Estle 1-0-1-3. Totals 13-22-8-40.

Hicksville 43: Sanders 3-2-3-15; Bergman 3-2-1-13; Villena 1-0-0-2; Schroeder 0-2-0-6; Klima 1-0-1-3; Shuman 2-0-0-4. Totals 10-6-5-43.