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Lady Panthers claim regional quarterfinal trophy
03/01/2017

Two Wood County teams made the final 16 in the Class 3A girls’ basketball playoffs last Tuesday; unfortunately one was eliminated in Friday’s Region II showdown between the Alba-Golden Lady Panthers and the Winnsboro Lady Raiders (see related story page 1B).

To earn its spot against Alba-Golden in the Regional semifinals, Winnsboro opened the playoffs with a 56-36 win over Redwater, worked over Elysian Fields, 56-34, in the second round then pulled out a 36-34 decision over Chapel Hill in the quarterfinals.

Alba-Golden had the entire gym on its feet as it battled Sunnyvale down to the wire to claim a 57-55 nail-biter at Kaufmann last Tuesday night. The Lady Panthers led by as much at 10 points early in the third quarter, but by the end of the period had seen that lead dwindle to four points, 42-38.

The fourth quarter had everybody in the gym on their feet as the battle got extremely intense. Sunny Vale got to within two points at 52-50 then Alba-Golden opened the lead to five when Grace Bizzell hit a three-point shot with 2:14 left to play. The Lady Raiders moved back up to within two points, 55-53, pm a field goal and a foul shot by Kinsley Trotman then knotted the count at 55-55 on a layup by sensation Avionne Alexander with 1:06 left to play.

Shelby Wright hit the really big shot for Alba-Golden with 28.68 seconds on the clock to give the Panthers the final score of 57-55. But the excitement wasn’t all over yet.

Pressing the Lady Panthers hard, Briana Weissert was fouled with 16.89 seconds remaining. However, she missed the first shot of a 1-1 trip to the charity line and Sunnyvale got the rebound. A quick turnover gave the ball back to the Lady Panthers and again Weissert was fouled and went to the free throw line for a 1-1 try and again missed the first shot, Sunnyvale getting the rebound with 3.74 seconds left, not enough time for the Lady Raiders to trip to the other end of the court and score.

In a contest like the Alba-Golden battle with Sunnyvale every point counts, but still there were four core players that made a huge difference for the Lady Panthers in this air-tight contest. Wright Weissert, Grace Bizzell and Gracie Pendergrass comprised that special core for the Lady Panthers. This quartet scored all of Alba-Golden’s points in the fourth quarter, the ball handling of Weissert, Wright and Bizzell and the overall tenacity of Pendergrass all over the court was a winning combination in anybody’s book.

When the scorebook had been tallied Wright lead Alba-Golden scorers with 22 points, Pendergrass had 12 points, Bizzell contributed nine points and Weissert finished with eight points. These four girls totaled 51 of the Lady Panthers” 57 points.

The 5-10 do-it-all Alexander was the game’s leading scorer as she pitched in 25 points for the Lady Raiders, 11 of those points in the fourth quarter. Clarie Knight was the only other Lady Raider in double figures with 14 points.

 

This article was written by Tommy Anderson and published in the Wood County Monitor.


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