The Lady Panthers Capture their Fourth District Title in a Row!
The South Iron Lady Panthers came into Thursday's championship game knowing their opponent very well - having had many very close battles with the Redwings in the past. Whether it was regular season or post season play, it seemed like every game came down to the wire and most came down to the last shot. So even though the Lady Panthers came into the game on a 10 game winning streak, they figured this could very well be another one of those type games. Although the Lady Panthers are young overall with 3 freshman in their top rotation they still had some upper classmen stability that had been there through most of those wars with the Redwings and other playoff type atmosphere games with leadership from seniors Michaela Ayers and Callie Miller, and Junior Haley Pauley. Head coach Lawerence Graves had to like his chances if he could get off to a good start, and that they did.
The Lady Panthers came out of the gate flying with some scrappy play from junior Haley Pauley and freshman point guard Madison Ayers, with Pauley getting into the lane and hitting some tough runners and Madison Ayers showing off her defense and speed for some layups. The Panthers had it rolling after the first quarter with a 19-3 lead, Coach Graves could not have possibly expected anything more than that. But the Redwings still had some fight left in them. In the second quarter they exerted some of their strengths by getting the ball to their big Junior Tristan Weaver and out scoring the Lady Panthers 12-8 to try get themselves back in it. At the half the Lady Panthers lead had been trimmed to 27-15.
As the second half got underway senior Michaela Ayers started showing why she will be attending Mineral Area College next year to continue her basketball career by knocking in some 3s and showing leadership on the floor by taking care of the ball for the Lady Panthers. As a result, that would be the door closing on the Lady Redwings as the Lady Panthers cruised on to win the game by a score of 55-33.
The Lady Panthers were led in scoring by Freshman Madison Ayers with 13 points, senior Michaela Ayers with 11 points, and junior Haley Pauley with 10 points. The Lady Redwings were led in scoring by Junior Tristan Weaver with 13 points and Junior Savanna Victor with 9 points. You can next catch the Lady Panthers in action against the Norwood Lady Pirates on March the 3rd in Mountain Grove, Missouri.