Akoro again leading the Panthers defense


O’FALLON – Junior Celeste Akoro has been paving the way for the lady Panthers in their 2015-2016 season.

So far Akoro has put up big numbers for the Panthers, and has helped them got off to a 6-4 start to the season.  The 6’3 forward and center was a huge part of the Panthers squad last season, and it hasn’t come as a surprise for her to repeat her success so far this year.

Akoro leads the Panthers at the post with 40 rebounds in eight games, averaging five rebounds a game.  Her defensive effort has also included 34 blocks and 11 steals.  On offense, the junior has averaged close to 7 points a game, and has a total of 54 points through the first eight games of the season.

Most recently, Akoro gave the Panthers a shot at a conference win over Belleville East. Akoro lead the team with 13 points in the 42-39 loss, and was three for four from the free-throw line.

Last season, as a sophomore, Akoro finished with 306 points, the second highest on the Panther roster in 27 games. Akoro’s 103 rebounds in the 2014-2015 season was the second most in the conference.

“She is one of the best shot blockers in the area,” said head coach Ryan Massey. “She broke the school record last year on blocks and she continues to be a big part of the nucleus of our team.”

Akoro will have to continue her stellar play as the season continues to grow more difficult for the Panthers. In the opening stretch of the season Akoro helped the Panthers find wins with 10 points against Riverview Gardens and 11 points against Collinsville.

Be sure to catch Akoro in action this week during the Mascoutah Invitational tournament.