Thursday, February 9, 2012

Middle School Lady Panthers continue to dominate. Advance to semi-final in sectional tournament.

The score sheets were even in one category and Newport had the edge in another. Any student of statistics will say you can read anything you want to from the numbers. The bottom line that counted though was all Lady Panthers with a 39-18 win over Newport Grammar Wednesday evening. The TMSAA girl’s AA sectional tournament is underway this week at Pigeon Forge Middle School.

The win earned Lenoir City a berth in the semi-final contest Friday at 7 p.m.  A win will put them in the championship game at 3 p.m. Saturday. “I hope nobody,” said Lenoir City Middle School girls coach Rachel Gray about what teams were also in the bracket that might beat her Lady Panthers team.

Lenoir City’s lone defeat was Jan. 16 to Harriman by a score of 20-23. Their strength is based on several players who contribute on a consistent and even basis. “It’s not just one. If you want to eliminate one, we’ve got three more, four more that could take them on,” Gray said about the balance on her team.

                        Photo by Ambler Brown © 2012 
Jaila Arnwine goes up with the ball to score.

 Newport surpassed the Lady Panthers with eight players inking the score sheet. Unfortunately, their top scorer only had three points. Lenoir City scored off baskets by five players, with two in double figures. Maegan Hudson netted 14 while Amberlee Zeller ripped the nylon with 13. They each hit a basket from long range. Jaila Arnwine dropped in six points on a trio of field goals in the paint. Ashlyn Zeller dropped in a field goal and a pair of free throws for four points. Jermeria Dortch hit for two points.

Where were the two teams even on the score sheets? Both were 50 percent from the foul line. Lenoir City hit seven-of-14 from the charity stripe and the Lady Warriors hit three-of-six. Amberlee Zeller was perfect from the line, with four-of-four going down the pipe.

The first period was a 10-4 domination by Lenoir City. The second quarter escalated to annihilation, as the Lady Panthers had their strongest offensive quarter with 13 points and held the Lady Warriors to zero. The score at the break was 23-4.

Gray put subs in mid-way through the third period. At the end of three the score was 33-10.
Every Lady Panther on the roster hit the floor down the stretch. Even though none of the second team Lady Panthers scored, they received valuable playing time.

Click this link to view and/or purchase these and other photos. 

Photo by Ambler Brown © 2012 
Emmah Click works for position under the basket.
Photo by Ambler Brown © 2012 
Maegan Hudson goes hard to the rim to score through three Newport defenders.

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