The South Iron Lady Panthers have been so dominant this season that they decided to schedule a game against one of the best teams in the State. It’s not often you see a tiny Class 1 school take on a Class 4 powerhouse, but that’s exactly what happened on Saturday afternoon as South Iron hosted the Vashon Wolverines.
Riding a 15-game winning streak, the Panthers put it all on the line against Vashon, grinding until the final buzzer, but they just couldn’t handle the size and skill of the Wolverines. Vashon handed South Iron an 84-63 loss, their first since December 3rd and just their second overall on the season.
The Wolverines jumped out on top early with 20 points in the first quarter, making their living in the paint. The Panthers countered with 11, but seemed overmatched early on. Madison Ayers and Anna Parker both hit big buckets from downtown, but South Iron would be playing catchup.
In the second quarter Vashon got their outside shooting game going, nailing six of their 12 threes on the day, en route to a 26-point effort. South Iron battled though and were able to run up 19 points on the Wolverines to close the gap a bit. Parker was huge with a pair of threes and 10 points in the frame. At the half the Panthers trailed 46-30.
Hoping the break could swing the momentum, the ladies of South Iron received no such good fortune. Vashon came out buzzing and poured in 22 points, while holding the Panthers to a mere eight. That made the lead 66-38 going into the final eight minutes.
But the Panthers weren’t done.
South Iron found another gear in the final frame and put up a whopping 25 points. Ayers and Parker hit big threes once again and Parker was good for nine in the quarter. Enzley Dinkins had nine as well and the Panthers managed to hold the Wolverines to 16 to trim the lead a bit.
It still wouldn’t be enough, as Vashon won the battle 84-63, but the Panthers fought to the very end. Assistant Coach Jeff Ayers was extremely pleased with the effort, saying, “Flat out, we played a better team than us today. Vashon is very skilled and athletic. They are so good at every position which makes them hard to guard. Very tough matchup for us today but this type of game will prepare us for postseason basketball. Our girls played their hearts out and kept battling til the last buzzer. We are very proud of their effort and attitude. This game will make us better!!
Parker had a monster game with 24 points, making six buckets and four three-pointers. Dinkins was next in the scoring order with 18, and she was big at the line, sinking eight of her nine free throws, while Ayers had 15 and made a couple from downtown.
It was a gutsy effort from all the Panthers, and the girls should all feel extremely proud of how they competed. Taking on a highly decorated program of that size, and hanging with them throughout, is quite the accomplishment. They will look to get back to their normal schedule on Friday as they travel to take on East Carter.