Panthers earn playoff spot

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The Alba-Golden Panthers earned their District 12-3A playoff berth with a 36-34 victory over the Rains Wildcats Tuesday, Feb. 12 in Emory. The Wildcats, who finished third in district play and advanced to the bi-district round as well, fought hard to play the spoilers against the Panthers.

Rains jumped out to an early lead and held a five-point advantage midway through the opening period. Scores by Mason Ragsdale, Tom Mitchell and Zane Smith drew the Panthers even at the expiration of the opening quarter.

As is the tendency in highly-spirited games, the action settled down a bit in the second period. Alba-Golden managed only five points, and Rains seven, before intermission. The Wildcats held a slim 18-16 lead at half.

The third quarter was pivotal in determining the game. Alba-Golden held Rains to only four points in the period while putting up 10. Jon-Michael Chadwick tied the game with the first score of the period, and a Mason Ragsdale three-pointer gave the Panthers the lead, which they never relinquished. Jacob Bailey also contributed to the scorecard in the third.

The final period was an evenly matched affair, and provided for a close game to the end. Alba-Golden opened a five-point lead late in the game. Rains rallied with the last three scores of the night but fell in the end 36-34.

Alba-Golden faced Dallas Life Oak Cliff in bi-district action on Tuesday, Feb. 19 at Kaufman High School. Rains traveled to Terrell High School for a bi-district match-up against Dallas Madison on Feb. 19.

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