Free throws were what helped the Panthers claim a 36-31 halftime lead over the Tigers, but they were also what ultimately sunk the Panthers in their 63-66 loss to New Richmond (3-2, 2-2).
The Ellsworth girls basketball team (2-3, 0-3) shot 13 free throws in the first half of their Tuesday, Dec. 12 game, but gave their Middle Border Conference opponents 24 chances from the line after the halftime break.
Ellsworth's freshman Autumn Earney led all scorers with 22 points, and Emma Swanson also reached the double-digit mark with 12 points. Also scoring for the Panthers were Kaitlyn Nugent (eight), Olivia Lynner (seven), Camryn Richards (six), Nadia Sigler (five), Aly Reuvers (two) and Taylor Feuerhelm (one).
New Richmond scoring: Lorin Bauer (20), Leah DeYoung (16), Amelia Feuerer (eight), Kate Miller (seven), Audrey Feuerer (six), Maya Greenquist (four), Amanda Johnson (three) and Avery Utecht (two).
Next, the Panthers will take on Somerset at home on Tuesday, Dec. 19, and the Tigers host La Crosse on Saturday, Dec. 16 at 2 p.m.