With a 55-53 victory, the Russellville Lady Panthers were able to hold off a late-game comeback by the Logan County Lady Cougars on Friday night.
The loss snapped a four-game winning streak for the lady Cougars; the win snapped a four-game losing streak for the Lady Panthers.
The victory was the second in District 13 play and the first for Coach Calvin Head’s team on their home court in Jim Young Gym.
The game, played close throughout, was tied at halftime, 24-24.
As the second half got underway, the Lady Cougars were able to stretch a lead to 28-24.
At 4:26 Gabbi Poirier scored Russellville’s first basket of the half. Almost immediately after, Poirer scored again, then again. Next Poirer intercepted a Logan County pass on their fast break. A quick pass of DaVonya Bryant and her basket tied the game 30-30 at 3:36.
As time ticked away in the third quarter, the Lady Panthers trailed 32-36. It was the third quarter’s stand-out player, Poirer that hit a 3-point basket at the buzzer to keep the home team within one point, 35-36.
The fourth quarter began with a thrilling 3-point basket by Bryant and a Russellville lead, 36-38.
As the Lady Panthers stepped up their defense, the Lady Cougars’ shooters got cold. Missed free throws and a basket by Deshale Leblanc forced Logan County to call timeout at 6:08, trailing 37-40.
At the 5:00 mark, Taleia Mason’s basket gave the visitors the lead, 41-40.
Lady Panther nation no doubt became very nervous as baskets by Cierra Johnson then Ann-Meguiar Bouldin made the score 45-40 in favor of Logan County.
Loreal Cheaney would hit key free throws down the stretch of the game, including two at the
3:49 mark to get the Lady Panthers to within three, 42-45.
But the Lady Cougars would show their muscle. Particular god play by Johnson and big-time defense and blocked shots by Brooke Barnes, gave the visitors the lead 502-42 with 2:21 to go in the game.
Tough play and exchanged free throws had made the score 51-47 in favor of Logan County at 1:24 to go in the game.
Cheaney’s basket, a double-pump jump shot in the paint, drew a foul; after making the free throw for an old fashioned 3-point play, the crowd came loudly to their feet as the Lady Panthers were only one point behind, 50-51.
Both teams missed free throws down the stretch, but Logan County missed more and at key times.
Reagan Wilkerson’s 3-point basket gave the home team a 53-51 lead.
With 404 seconds remaining and Russellville leading 54-53, Cheaney is fouled. She is able to hit one of two free throws to seal the victory 55-53.