featureGilmer takes command early in 54-30 win over Pantherettes
Gilmer takes command early in 54-30 win over Pantherettes

Gilmer takes command early in 54-30 win over Pantherettes

After the opening tip, the Gilmer Lady Buckeyes opened up a critical district basketball game at the North Lamar Pantherettes on a 9-0 run. The Pantherettes (11-6, 1-1) fought throughout the game against the taller and more experienced team in Gilmer (15-1, 2-0), but ultimately could not catch up in a 54-30 loss on Tuesday night.

In the first half, North Lamar had several strong moments attacking the Gilmer defense in transition, highlighted by several quality drives to the basket from sophomore guard Maddie Walters. In the Pantherettes’ first possession of the second quarter, Walters found junior post Hutton Pointer down low for a layup that cut the deficit to 19-7 with 7:42 remaining before halftime. However, Gilmer responded with a 6-0 run as the Lady Buckeyes routinely provided an answer to any momentum from the Pantherettes. Gilmer was also able to adjust to North Lamar’s style of play while maintaining solid execution and building their lead through the remainder of the game.

“They just sped us up a lot and the traps that they set early kind of made us play out of rhythm. They took away a lot of our looks for an entry past down low, so we didn’t know what to do after that — we were scrambling,” Pantherettes head basketball coach Taqoya Monds said. “Even when we broke the halfcourt pressure, we were off to the races instead of slowing it down and running the offense. We just have to do a better job of understanding tempo and not always playing fast.”

North Lamar could not cut Gilmer’s lead to single digits in the second half but ended the game with a spark as senior Emma Fowler hit a contested corner 3-pointer to beat the fourth-quarter buzzer for the final margin of 54-30.

Walters led North Lamar with 8 points while Pointer scored 6 points. Lauren Dority chipped in with 4 points while Dani Blount, Sloane Hill, Mylee Nottingham, and Macy Richardson each added 2 points. Fowler added the late 3-pointer and Cydnie Malone had 1 point. Madyson Tate led Gilmer with a game-high 15 points.

Moving forward, Monds wants to see her team make adjustments and to continue to refine their skills as the district slate continues.

“I told the girls that when they play teams that have that inside-outside presence, where they can knock down shots, come off screens and get to the rack, and execute pick-and-roll — you can’t stop all of those things. We have to be the type of team that can score at that same level — it has to be a shootout. We’ve got to be able to capitalize on other people’s defenses just like that. Moving forward, we need to just focus on the next games and make sure our defensive rotations stay tight, and we keep attacking the rim. Hopefully, we can pull off three wins in a row.”

The Pantherettes will try to win the first of their next three games at 6 p.m. Friday at home against Pleasant Grove. For more sports coverage, click here.

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