When leaders lead, good things happen.
That was the case for a pair of Delta High School girls basketball players Tuesday night.
The Panthers (2-3) made the trek to face Central, which had won six of nine games to start the season.
Junior Keely Porter and sophomore Erika Kuta are Delta’s leaders on and off the court, but this would be one of their toughest tests to date, especially with the weight of a two-game losing streak on top of things.
The duo never let those losses affect their chemistry with each other and their teammates.
“We have this special bond on and off the court, so that helps,” Kuta said.
“We help each other out when we see opportunities,” Porter added. “We’re like best friends.”
The two share a close bond, the kind where they sometimes finish each other’s sentences.
Tuesday night, they helped each other finish at the basket.
Kuta and Porter each scored four points early as part of a 10-0 Panther run to start the game. Porter, the Panthers’ leader at 13 points per game, scored 14 on the night. Kuta had to leave the game after a hard fall shortly after Delta’s dominant start, but the momentum from that start carried the Panthers to a 48-41 win.
“I took a charge and hit my head,” Kuta said. “At halftime, I was a little dizzy. After halftime, I was still dizzy. They just kept me out for safety reasons.”
The Panthers held on, thanks to Porter.
Porter not only leads Delta in scoring, but she’s also second in rebounds (6.2) and third in assists (1.7). Kuta is also dynamic, averaging 9.3 points (second), 6.8 rebounds (first), 1.5 assists (fourth) and 1.7 blocks (first).
“I think we look for each other to give each other opportunities, and when we don’t have that, we can look for an open one,” Porter said. “Don’t force anything. Let it play out.”
Both girls are three-sport athletes. Kuta plays soccer and softball and Porter plays softball and runs track and field.
Basketball season isn’t the only time the two share space on a roster.
“Endurance, staying in shape, mental toughness, (playing three sports) really helps motivate you,” Kuta said.
After the victory over Central, Delta has regained its swagger and, led by Porter and Kuta, knows what it takes to implement that success over the rest of the season.
“Our goal is to control the game,” Kuta said. “We control the tempo, fast or slow, how we want to play. Starting out strong and fast really helped with that.”
“We set the pace, keep it up, make it fast... that’s how we play,” Porter added. “We’re still not there, but we’re going to get there.”