Fouls contribute to Lady Panthers’ loss

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In a lengthy, foul-plagued game, the Lone Oak Lady Buffaloes visited Alba-Golden and bested the Lady Panthers 55-44 Saturday. The Lady Panthers could not evade the referees’ whistles and gave the visitors bonus free throw shots by the second quarter.

Three Lady Panthers fouled out on the day. While the whistles were equal in the first half, in the second half Lone Oak was able to curb their fouling, while the Lady Panthers struggled to refrain from fouling.

In addition to gifting the visitors a significant number of free throws, the Lady Panthers had difficulty knocking down open shots. The open looks were there for the taking, but it was a frustrating day for the Alba-Golden shooters. Sometimes the shots just do not fall.

Scores from Hannah Wright, Crimson Bryant, Kallie Wright and Bella Crawford built a 9-6 lead. Lone Oak went on a 6-point run to close the quarter up 12-9.  Four of those six points were from the free throw line. 

Just before the quarter break, Kallie Wright ripped down an offensive rebound and was fouled. Crawford rebounded the errant foul shot, but the home side could not score in the last seconds. In a haltingly-played second quarter, Lone Oak took a 24-20 lead into halftime. 

A much cleaner third quarter saw the Lady Panthers close to within two points. Jordin Barnhart hit a 3-pointer to make the score 28-26 with 4:00 in the third quarter. It was the high-water mark for the Lady Panthers. 

The Lady Buffaloes closed out the third period on a 13-4 run and established the winning margin. Nine of Lone Oak’s 14 fourth-period points came off foul shots.  

The frustration of incessant fouling began to affect the mindset of the home side as the game wore on. However, the loss should not mask the facts that the Lady Panthers generated a large number of open shots, and seven Lady Panthers scored. The methodology of defending will be addressed, and the shots will begin to fall. There will certainly be better shooting and better defending days to come.

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