After a 3-0 start to the season, the South Iron Panthers Girls Varsity Basketball team continued their path to perfection last week as they knocked off Fredericktown and Miller Career Academy. Fredericktown fell easily in a 58-36 dousing and MCA didn’t fare much better, falling 55-36. Arcadia Valley would have likely been added to the list of victims, but the game was cancelled due to a high number of illnesses.
The game against Fredericktown was a tight one in the first quarter with a 12-10 Panther lead after the first eight minutes, but things opened up considerably after that. They shot the ball well early and, thanks largely in part to Maddie Ayers and her 19 first-half points, South Iron went into the locker room with a 28-19 lead.
The third quarter would be a tight one though as Fredericktown tightened up on defense, but the Panthers still won the quarter 8-7. Then, tired of the ticky-tack back and forth, they figured they’d open the floodgates in the final quarter. Anna Parker decided to go off with 20 second half points and the Panthers erupted for 22 in the fourth, while allowing just 10, as they coasted to the 58-36 win in style.
Ayers led all scorers with 24 points, made five of seven from three point land, seven of eight from the line and had an incredible eight steals. Nipping at her heels was Parker, who put up 20 points, including six three-pointers, and had three assists as well. Enzley Dinkins was the defensive star on the boards with 10 rebounds.
When asked about the game, Head Coach Lawrence Graves gave the defense some props, saying, “Our defense was really good. We forced a lot of turnovers and only allowed one of their players to reach double figures in scoring (12). ”
After the Arcadia Valley cancellation, the girls were eager to get back on the court and poured all their energy into the Miller Career Academy game. This would be no easy task, but the Panthers obviously rose to the challenge. According to Coach Graves, “This was a really good game for us. Miller Career Academy was athletic and physical and they play a brutal schedule, so we knew we were going to have to be ready.”
Once again the first quarter was tight, as the Panther tend to need the first few minutes to get into a rhythm that features both their offense and defense, but they came out on top with a 15-14 advantage. The second quarter they shut down MCA and outscored them 16-6 for a 31-20 half-time lead. Their dominance would continue in the second half as they won quarters three and four, 13-8 and 11-8, respectively.
Outscoring the competition in every quarter is the most surefire way to ensure victory, and the Panthers have done it with regularity this season. They razed the Miller crew’s hopes and took the match 55-36, led by the charge of Dinkins. She led all scorers with 21 points and the team in rebounds (7) and steals (3) with just one turnover. Ayers (14) and Alecia Cornell (8) were big players as well with with 22 points between them.
The Lady Panthers of South Iron just keep on rolling with their 5-0 record and look to snag one more win on Tuesday 12/21 before diving into the Park Hills Christmas Tournament.