After a slow first quarter, the Alba-Golden Lady Panthers dominated Quitman in the second half on their way to a 61-21 victory. However the bigger story could have been that by the end of the game the physicality resembled a football game rather than a hoops contest with numerous hard fouls, bodies falling to the floor repeatedly and players from both teams getting in to a shoving match at one point.
The Lady Panthers held a 23-13 lead at intermission and extended their lead in the second half when the Lady Panthers went on to score 38 second-half points.
Quitman got the scoring started on buckets by Madalyn Spears and Molly Tanner to take an early 4-0 lead. The Lady Panthers did not score until 2:35 left in the opening stanza on a free throw by Kenzie Chadwick. Lady Panther Grace Brizzell hit a three and Sammi Rambsel followed with back-to-back threes giving Alba-Golden a 10-4 lead they would not surrender the rest of the way.
Chadwick hit a bucket to end the first quarter with the Lady Panthers taking a 13-4 advantage. With Alba-Golden leading 15-4, Quitman’s Spears hit a short jump shot and Shelby Compton scored off an offensive rebound. Quitman cut the lead to 15-8, then went on a 5-1 run as the score was 16-13 on a pair of Spears free throws and a Lucy Brannon charity toss. The Lady Panthers responded in the final two minutes as Ginny Carson, Bizzell and Chadwick all scored to go to halftime with a 23-13 lead on a 10-0 run.
The second half was owned by the Lady Panthers as their offense kicked in to high gear. After a Chadwick bucket made it 25-14, Rambsel and Bizzell hit back-to-back treys again and the Lady Panthers held a 31-14 lead. Despite going 4-14 from the free throw line, the Lady Panthers’ stifling full-court press forced numerous turnovers as Alba-Golden outscored Quitman 18-3 in the third quarter taking a 41-16 cushion into the final eight minutes.
In the final quarter, the Lady Panthers found the range from the charity stripe and made 10-14 free throws in the fourth quarter on their way to 20-5 scoring advantage that helped them earn the victory. Frustration boiled over from both parties as fans, parents, and players seemed displeased with the officiating. The two players involved in a shoving matched were benched for the final minutes as A-G cruised to their first district win.
Spears led Quitman in scoring with 10 points and Tanner had five for Quitman.
Quitman’s girls play next at home against Mineola on Friday, while the Lady Panthers will host Grand Saline Friday. Both games are set to tip at 6 p.m.