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Homecoming bittersweet for Panther teams

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Lady Panthers beat Williamstown; Oldham Colonels outshoot Panthers

By Sharon Graves

The Lady Panthers could have been mistaken for the Pink Ladies of the musical “Grease,” donning pink jackets and headbands to promote breast cancer awareness during warm-ups prior to Saturday’s game against the Lady Demons of Williamstown.

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In addition to being Homecoming, the game was part of Coaches vs. Cancer, and $1 from every ticket sold went to benefit the American Cancer Society. The event raised a total of $1,025 for ACS.

The girls varsity team wasn’t so charitable to the visiting Demons, though.

Senior Keshia Henderson, who later was crowned Homecoming queen, unsealed the bucket, knocking down the first of the team’s seven three-pointers of the night.

The home team played point guard by committee, said Head Coach Randy Mefford. The first half of the game, Hannah Devine brought the ball down followed, by Sarah Osborne, Lindsay Wallace and Henderson.

While the Lady Panthers had a super second period, Mefford said they let Williamstown hang around too long and threaten an upset.

The Lady Demons outscored the Lady Panthers 11-14 in the first half, and Williamstown made four of six shots from the charity stripe.

In the second half, the Lady Panthers completely shut out the Lady Demons, hitting four more treys and scoring a total of 20 points to the Lady Demons’ 7.

The girls also scored 11 of 17 second-half points from the line.

“We forced them into 25 turnovers, but the negative part is we had 19,” Mefford said. “That’s very uncharacteristic for us. We average 12 turnovers per game.”

The Lady Panthers went seven for 24 attempts on three-point shots and eight for 24 attempts on two-point field goals, Mefford said.

The 48-41 victory puts Carroll at the top of the girls North Central Kentucky Conference.

“I’m tickled to death that we won the conference again,” Mefford said. “If this team can play 32 minutes we’ve got a chance of going a long way – not only in the district, but in the regional tournaments.”

Scoring:   Hannah Devine, 19 points; Lindsay Wallace, 13; Keshia Henderson, 7; Sarah Hudgins, 4; Sarah Osborne, 3; and Marissa Brindley, 2.  

Shiny second half too little, too late for boys

The Panthers needed a near-perfect game to beat the Oldham County Colonels at Homecoming on Saturday, but perfection was beyond their reach.

The Colonels played a much more even game, but despite the Panthers were never able to pull ahead in the 58-53 loss, despite a strong showing in the fourth period.

The Panthers, known for their sporadic shooting and sometimes lackluster team defense, began slowly against the Colonels.

The Colonels jumped out to a 13-0 lead; it wasn’t until the last three minutes of the first period that D.C. Craig hit the first bucket for the Panthers. Then he was fouled and sent to the free-throw line, where he made three the old-fashioned way.

“I was very disappointed in our play early,” Panther Head Coach Carroll Yager said. The Panthers only scored 16 points the first half.

“The first shots [the Colonels] had in the first four or five minutes weren’t even contested,” Yager said. “That’s the disappointing part of this; we didn’t come out ready to compete. I don’t know how you cannot be ready on Homecoming, with the sight of your stands full.”

Matt Allen and Ethan Stewart provided some highlights to the dismal loss: Allen hit six for seven attempts from the charity stripe, while Stewart knock down five treys – three in the final period.

Stewart, along with fellow reserve players Andy Sistenstein and Kory Brocious, added real spark. Brocious, always a tough defender, gave scoring opportunities to Stewart and Sisenstein.

In the second half, the Panthers finally got down to business and came  within three points of the Colonels’ score in the waning minutes of the game. But it wasn’t enough.

Chris Hendrick, who had been held scoreless in the first half, scored 15 in the second half. Will Yager also had four of his six points in the second half.

“I told the guys we can be content with the fact that we came back and we got close, and I can go around the room and pat everyone on the back,” Yager said. “Or, we can really talk about do we want to take the next step or not. If we want to take the next step, we’ve got to be disappointed that we didn’t start the way we ended up.”

Echoing Mefford’s words, “to be successful, you’ve got to be ready to compete 32 minutes, every possession,” Yager said.

Scoring: Chris Hendrick, 15 points; Ethan Stewart, 15; Matt Allen, 6; Will Yager, 6; Andy Sisenstein, 6; D.C. Craig, 3; and Casey Cable, 2.