Panorama girls rally to win battle of Panthers

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The Panorama girls, shown here earlier this season, will visit North Polk tonight for a regional semifinal after posting an overtime win Wednesday.

PANORA — Wednesday’s 1A Region 3 Quarterfinal between Panorama and visiting Creston was not supposed to be a difficult test for the hosts. Apparently, no one told the visitors.

Unheralded Creston (3-12) stormed to a 2-0 halftime lead, forcing Panorama (11-5) to rally for a pair of scores to force overtime. The host Panthers avoided the upset with a goal five minutes into the first 10-minute extra period, turning aside a determined effort by the visiting Panthers.

The win sends Panorama to eighth-ranked North Polk (13-4) tonight, with the match to start at 6 p.m. The Comets were 14-0 winners over Grand View Christian. Des Moines Christian (14-3), a 5-0 winner over Chariton, will host WCV-NV, a 9-0 victor against Clarke, in Friday’s other R3 Semifinal. The two winners will meet Monday, at 6 p.m., at the higher seeded team, the victor reaching the state tournament.

Trailing by a pair of scores at the intermission, Panorama frantically fought back to draw even. Paige Cmelik converted a penalty kick to halve the deficit for the hosts, with Audrey Cmelik scoring with just over 10 minutes remaining in regulation to eventually force overtime.

The game winner came when Paige Cmelik ran onto a pass that split defenders, the sophomore finding the back of the net for the 3-2 lead.

Kennedy Kuta had two saves in goal in the first half for Panorama, with Ashley Clark adding two saves in the second half and extra period.

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