While talking to new Head Lady Panther Basketball Coach Wendi Messer, it is obvious what she expects from her team this year. Coach Messer insists that this team will focus on the ‘run and gun’ style by forcing turnovers and moving the ball up and down the court as quickly as possible.
Messer said, “I’m satisfied with the season. We are 3-1 and the team is improving everyday. I feel like this team is competing at a high level and they are starting to build up confidence and are coming together as a team.”
Coach Messer made these comments after a hard fought win over a very formidable opponent, the Middlesboro Lady Yellowjackets on Monday night 52-47.
The Lady Panthers trailed Middlesboro by three points, 12-15, at the end of the first quarter behind a seven point scoring performance from Junior guard Cassi Hale.
The Panthers tightened up there defense in the second quarter and gave up only six points. The Panthers could not find the bottom of the basket either as they could only manage eight points, four from guard Kammey Bargo and two each from Taylor Patterson and Melanie Gregory to trail at the half 20-21.
The third quarter saw the Panthers take the lead on their opening possession with a score from Freshman Maddie Pennington. Pennington added a free throw to advance the score to 23-21. The Yellowjackets managed to tie the score at 23-all but trailed most of the quarter. With 1:44 showing on the clock in the third, Middlesboro’s Bailey Hensley made three consecutive free throws on two possessions to knot the score at 34-34. The Panthers rolled off the next four points under pressure from their game long full court press with a basket by Madison Hicks and a steal and lay up by Cassi Hale for a lead at the end of three 38-34.
The Panthers continued the pressure defense and did not relinquish the lead in the fourth quarter holding on to claim the victory 52-47.
Leading up to the Middlesboro victory, the Panthers took to the road to defeat Williamsburg 56-45, added a home victory over Berea 53-14 before losing to Sheldon Clark at home 40-73.