Lagrange, Georgia- In the first round of the state playoffs, the #4 seed Union County Lady Panthers (2-12) take on the #1 seed Callaway Lady Cavaliers. (13-6)
The Lady Panthers started the game on a 4-0 run as Sophomore Ellie Cook made a midrange jumper and Freshman Lara Turner made 2 free throws. The Lady Panthers picked the best time to have their best start of the year. The Cavaliers responded with a layup but Junior Ava Hunter made 2 free throws to extend the lead to 4. Junior Niakoe Burks hit a 3 to cut the Panthers lead to 1. Hunter extended the lead back to 3 as she made 2 more free throws. Junior Gabrielle Johnson made a 3 pointers to tie the game at 8. Cook stole the ball but turned the ball back over to the Cavaliers which led to 2 points and the Cavaliers took the lead. Hunter quickly responded with a floater to tie the game. Freshman Lacy Thomas made 2 free throws to give the Cavaliers the lead. The Cavaliers extended their lead to 4 after scoring off a Panther turnover. Junior Rebekah Chambers got the offensive rebound and scored to cut the deficit to 2. The Lady Panthers were getting out rebounded and the Cavaliers were capitalizing on it. Freshman Sophia McNabb had a great hustle player after a Panther turnover to save points. Thomas scored on a layup to extend the Cavalier lead to 4. The Cavaliers went on another 4-0 run and Coach Mandy Hunter used a timeout to slow the momentum. Johnson scored off a Panther turnover to extend the run to a 6-0 run. Cook responded with a layup to end the run. Johnson scored off another turnover but Cook responded with a big 3 pointer to end the quarter. The Lady Panthers trailed 22-17 at the end of the first quarter.
The Cavaliers got on the board first after making 1/2 free throws but Hunter quickly responded with a nice layup. Burks scored off another Panther turnover to extend the Cavaliers lead to 6. After the Cavaliers extend their lead to 8, Chambers responded with a layup to end the Cavalier scoring run. Johnson made 2 free throws to extend the Cavalier lead back to 8. Burks scored off another turnover to extend the lead to 10. The Cavaliers went on a 17-6 run. The Lady Panthers weren’t finding any rhythm offensively. The Lady Panthers trailed 39-23 to end the first half.
Chambers got the Panthers on the board quickly as she made a layup. Freshman Jazmin Thornton responded by making a deep 2. Thornton scored again off a Panther turnover. Hunter scored on a layup. The Panthers just needed some stops defensively and to take care of the ball to get back in the game. The Cavaliers went on a 14-6 run. The Panthers were making good plays but were also making big mistakes. The Lady Panthers trailed 58-35 to end the third quarter.
Not much happened for the Lady Panthers in the fourth quarter as the Cavaliers kept their foot on the gas. The Lady Panthers season would come to an end as they would fall 72-45. The Lady Panthers finish the season 2-13 and 0-6 in region play. The Lady Panthers have every starter returning next season. I expect the Lady Panthers to have a big year as they have a lot of experience returning.