There's not much of a statistical difference between going 0-10 and 1-9.
Mentally, however, it's a completely different ballgame.
Skyview is already feeling the effects of it, too.
Having come up shy in their first nine Northern Lights Conference games this season, the Panthers used a 12-0, third-quarter run in turning an eight-point deficit into a four-point lead and held on for a courageous 37-32 win over visiting Homer on Saturday in their final game before the conference tournament begins on Thursday.
"It boosts our confidence 100 percent," said Skyview assistant coach Randi Broyles. "Because the girls are going to go and know that we can beat teams. We've known that we can play with the teams here. We just haven't had a win and we needed that win. We need that win for our girls to go in.
"It was the first time all season that we've made a comeback that we've been down, even by two points, that we've come back. So, it's such a high for us to be able to go into regions on a win like that," she added. "We finally came together, we finally played like we know we could play."
In their final home game in the purple and black, seniors Melissa Massey and Brittany Meyer turned in performances they're likely to remember for a long time.
Massey netted a game-high 18 points on 6-of-16 shooting, 13 of those coming in the second half, and Meyer scored eight, half of them coming on that game-altering run, in closing their regular-season careers on top.
"We had a talk before about how we were Panthers and how we had to fight back," Massey said. "We just decided it was our last home game for me and Brittany and Kadie (Perletti), so we stepped it up and started playing hard.
"You've just got to keep believing and just keep hoping and just keep working."
Trailing by five after the first following a 3-for-10 performance from the field, the Panthers (5-17 overall) fell behind by nine when Danilee Stapel scored halfway through the second. Following Massey's first points of the game, a pair of foul shots with 3:37 left in the first half, and Meyer's first bucket with 1:41 remaining, Homer's Lindsay Layland -- who was held to only 13 points after leading the Mariners in scoring this season -- canned a foul-line jumper in stretching the lead back to nine.
But Massey drained a 3-pointer with just 34 ticks remaining in sending Skyview into the break down six after hitting just 5-of-25 shots, 11 of those misses coming in a row to begin the second quarter.
"We knew at the half we had to come back and that's tough for us to do," Broyles said. "And the girls really brought it that second half."
Did they ever.
Deanna Weaver opened the quarter with a basket in stretching the lead to eight. From there, however, it was all Panthers.
Massey followed a layup by Meyer with a long trey and junior Ivy O'Guinn drained her second 3 of the game in evening the score at 23-23 with 4:28 left in the frame.
"The neat part about this team ... is that they have always managed to stay in games with their defensive fight," said Homer coach Deb Lowney. "Obviously they did again tonight, but the part where we're hurting on is when we get against teams that have good outside shooting, and Skyview does have good outside shooting.
"If they're going to beat us from the 3-point line, we're just going to have to suffer that loss."
Massey then handed the Skyview its first lead of the game when her perfect up-fake along the arc allowed her to drive to the hoop for an off-balance, one-handed layin that made it 25-23. Meyer promptly capped the 12-0 spurt with a fast-break layup before another bucket from Weaver trimmed the gap to two entering the fourth.
"Missey stepped up huge," Broyles said. "It was her last game here at Skyview and her and Brittany both, they just stepped up huge and they deserved that win, and they got that win for us.
"That's what we've been wanting her to do," she added of Massey taking over. "All year we've been telling her, 'Stay low.' She loves to go out there and shoot those 3s, which she did. But she's such a threat down low and we need her to play down low as well as the perimeter."
Homer actually snagged a 30-27 lead on the heels of a baseline jumper by Alecia Stafford and a trio of free throws from Layland near the midway point of the fourth. Massey answered, though, cutting it to one on a well-timed give-and-go with Meyer and then gave her team the lead for good at 34-30 behind a baseline drive past Layland for a reverse layup and a crucial 3-pointer that culminated a personal 7-0 run with 1:35 to play.
"I just stopped worrying about the score and just started playing the game and shots started falling," Massey said. "It's really nice to have a win finally, and it's getting the girls spirits up because it's kind of hard not winning so much."
Homer closes the season with a 2-8 conference mark and will likely take on Wasilla in the opening round of the NLC tourney at Kodiak on Thursday, while the Panthers have the arduous task of facing defending Class 4A state champion Colony.
"Skyview came out just with a lot of desire and we didn't quite match that desire," said Lowney, whose team had beaten the Panthers twice this season. "We're having a tough time. We're definitely in a slump right now and whether or not we're going to get out of it before regions, we'll just have to wait and see.
"But we also knew coming into this that to beat a team three times is tough," she added. " I have to take my hat off to Skyview, they were prepared for the game, most definitely."
Panthers 37, Mariners 32
Homer 12 9 4 7 --32
Skyview 7 8 12 10 --37
HOMER (32) -- Cordova 0 0-0 0, Weaver 4 1-4 9, Stapel 2 0-1 4, Daugharty 1 0-3 2, Stafford 2 0-1 4, Edens 0 0-0 0, Wood 0 0-0 0, Layland 4 5-6 13. Totals -- 13 6-15 32.
SKYVIEW (37) -- Jones 0 0-0 0, O'Guinn 2 0-0 6, Massey 6 3-9 18, Hill 2 0-2 4, Perletti 0 0-0 0, Penrod 0 0-0 0, Stewart 0 1-6 1, Meyer 3 2-6 8, Kelley 0 0-0 0. Totals -- 13 16-23 37.
3-point goals -- Skyview 5 (Massey 3, O'Guinn 2). Team fouls -- Homer 21, Skyview 18. Fouled out -- Stapel, Penrod.
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