Lady Panthers win two, fall to Kilgore

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After two season-opening wins at DeKalb and versus West Rusk, the Alba-Golden Lady Panthers fell to Kilgore 54-31 on Nov. 15. Kilgore used a strong third quarter to open a lead which saw them through to the win.

Freshmen Crimson Bryant and Cacie Lennon joined juniors Bella Crawford, Hannah Wright and Kallie Wright in the starting five. All Lady Panthers saw action with Jordin Barnhart, Justina Peterson, Gracie Teel and Autumn Whitten each playing significant minutes.

Nice defensive work and press turnovers kept the game close at the outset. Each Lady Panther contributed with solid play in the opening quarter. Crawford recorded seven points in the first quarter, while Hannah and Kalli Wright were productive under the boards. At the end of one, the score stood 12-11, Kilgore.

Kilgore asserted themselves offensively before the half, opening a nine-point lead. A nice assist from Lennon to Kalli Wright for a bucket and a 3-pointer by Barnhart cut the gap to 26-21 at the break.

Almost half the time in the third quarter expired before a point was recorded. The visitors then exploded for 14 straight points to open the winning margin.

There were many positive signs from the Lady Panthers’ efforts. Lennon is clearly the engine for the Lady Panthers. Her quickness, playmaking and ball-handling will certainly feature in the upcoming season. Hannah and Kalli Wright, although not tall, are exceptionally strong inside and will be productive offensively and defensively. As a whole, the Lady Panthers are aware, well-coached and each can contribute.

The challenge of Kilgore’s physicality and quickness will teach Alba-Golden much about how to prepare for district.

Coach Eric Boettcher will no doubt be working on hand and foot discipline to make the press more effective and getting the ball inside in the front court.

The effort put forth by the players will ensure a competitive and productive year for the Lady Panthers.

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