The South Iron Panthers girls’ varsity team handed the Arcadia Valley Tigers their first loss of the season on Thursday. This was the sixth consecutive time the Panthers beat the Tigers dating back to 2016. This was South Iron’s third win in a row, and their fifth win this season. Arcadia Valley was 4 and 0 before Thursday’s game.
South Iron made a habit of starting fast this season, and that is exactly what happened in this one. They jumped out to an 18 to 8 lead by the end of the first quarter. The Panthers kept the defensive pressure on and continued to execute. They outscored the Tigers 13 to 6 in the second quarter and led 31 to 14 at halftime.
Arcadia Valley seemed to make some adjustments at halftime. They came out and had a solid 14 point quarter. South Iron scored 12 in the third and sustained most of their lead. The Tigers’ second-half surge continued into the fourth. They had another solid quarter and outscored the Panthers 17 to 14, but ultimately came up short. South Iron secured a 57 to 45 victory.
“I think our team defended, communicated and played together. ” Enzley Dinkins said. “We also moved the ball as a team and got open shots. All of these things made it possible for us to secure a win.”
Madison Ayers led South Iron in scoring with 19 points. She had five assists, six steals and shot 4 for 6 from three-point land. Drew Gayle shot 4 for 7 from the field, scored ten points and grabbed six rebounds. Dinkins scored 12 points. She also had three rebounds and two steals. The Panthers shot 48 percent from the field overall.
Head coach Lawrence Graves was pleased with his team’s effort to hold off the late comeback attempt from the Tigers.
“I was really pleased with the way we played tonight.” He said. “We battled through a lot of adversity and hung in there together to come away with the win.”
The Panthers are a team with many underclassmen receiving a significant amount of minutes. Every game they face new challenges, and they continue to come together as a team.
“I think our team shared the ball very well. ” Gayle said. “That allowed all of us to have the opportunity to score.”
South Iron is 5 and 1 this season and improving every step of the way. The next test for the Panthers comes Tuesday, Dec. 22 against St. Paul Lutheran at 6 pm.