Lady Panthers lose in opening round of All-A tournament

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By Kristin Beck

Carroll County Lady Panthers held a three-point lead with 1:37 to go, but committed three turnovers and were outscored 8-0 by the Williamstown Lady Demons to ultimately lose 51-46 in the first round of the 8th Region All A Tournament Wednesday, Jan. 15.

It was the Lady Panthers’ fifth-straight loss to the Lady Demons, with the last win coming Feb. 11, 2011.

“Rough,” head coach Paul Stone said after the game. “They have two really nice players. [Rachel] Montgomery and [Michaela] Kennedy played very well, and they handled the ball well. They shot layups. We played very lazy defense.”

The Williamstown guards attacked Carroll’s defense all night, leading to shots or easy baskets for teammates.

“We didn’t do a very good job of guarding Kennedy and Montgomery,” Stone said. “We would put pressure on them, we’d reach and they would go by us and then they’d end up driving and dishing. 22 [Ashley Marksbury] and 33 [Sammie Souder] had all their points off dishes. They would drive and dish it to them or shoot and they would get the rebound and put back because we shifted. Difference in the game.”

Kennedy led all scorers with 19 points, while Marksbury scored 12 and Souder added 11.

The two teams battled back and forth all night up until the last 90 seconds of the game. The game was tied 10 times and there were 15 lead changes throughout the contest.

Williamstown (5-11) jumped out quickly with a 6-1 lead, but Carroll (3-11) ended the first quarter strong with six points from junior Lauren Moore and a bucket from sophomore Miranda Groseclose to lead 9-8 after one quarter.

Groseclose also scored the last bucket of the first half as she picked off a Lady Demon pass and hit a layup as the buzzer sounded, tying the game at 19.

The Lady Panthers found themselves behind by four with about five minutes to go, but were able to swing the momentum back their way, going on a 6-0 run with two buckets by senior Makena Kindoll and an offensive rebound-putback by Moore, 43-41. Groseclose scored her team’s last points of the game when she grabbed a defensive rebound and drove the ball straight down the floor for a layup and a foul. She converted the free throw to give her team the 46-43 lead.

Down 49-46 with 11.4 seconds to go, Kindoll was forced to foul Kennedy. The freshman missed the front end of the one-and-one, but the Lady Panthers failed to block out. Souder grabbed the offensive rebound and dished it off to Kennedy, who was fouled again and hit both free throws.

“Heartbreak hotel,” Stone said.

Kindoll and Moore led the Lady Panthers with 13 points each. Stone praised Kindoll after the game for her play on both offense and defense.

“I thought Makena Kindoll played very well for us. She deserves to be All-Tournament team. She had a great game on both ends. She played really solid defense and took the ball to the basket on offense. I was really proud of how she played tonight.”

Groseclose scored 11 points, while senior Kayla Williamson scored seven and Chasity Burgin added two points.

Williamstown moved on in the All-A, but lost in the second round to Trimble County. Trimble County took on Walton-Verona in the championship and won 57-49.

Carroll County will take on the Lady Raiders at home Thursday night.

Coming out of the Williamstown game, Stone said his team needs to do a better job of recognizing situations.

“Our recognition at the end wasn’t good. But they did exactly what I told them to do, to the ‘T’ what I told them to do,” he said. “… They listened, but when the other team adjusts, we have to adjust, and we didn’t adjust very well.”