Prep Hoops: Lady Panthers clinch share of MPC title
Blowouts have become the norm for the Ledford girls this season in the Mid-Piedmont 3-A Conference.
Friday’s contest with Southwestern Randolph was a lot closer than normal, but the outcome was the same with the Lady Panthers rallying back for a sluggish 46-41 victory. With two games left in the league and being two games up on its nearest competition, LHS has locked up at least a share of the MPC title.
The Cougars had played Ledford the closest in conference, but even that was a 25-point rout. This time, the Cats from Farmer made them work a lot harder.
SWR scooted away for a 10-4 lead in the first quarter while Ledford had trouble putting the ball in the basket. They took sharpshooter Emmalee Thomas out of the game with tough defense, limiting her to four first half points. Even with its top player being held in check, LHS (19-3) rallied back to lead 21-20 at the half.
Thomas found a little more room to operate second half in netting 12 points, but the Panthers continued to be pressured by the Cougars. Katelyn Doub’s offensive rebound and layup to begin the fourth had Southwestern up 33-28. Leigh Ann Midkiff established a post presence for LHS with three quick points down low, which opened up the outside for Thomas who nailed a wide open 3. Midkiff added another bucket and Brie Grier made two free throws, completing a 10-0 run for the Panthers to flip the score into a 38-33 advantage for the Panthers.
SWR would cut it to three with eight seconds showing on Doub’s 3-pointer, but Thomas made two at the line on the other end to make it a two possession game.
In the nightcap, Ledford lost its composure and control in the second half, resulting in a 58-43 setback.
Down two at the break, Skylar McGee fired in a trey that shot the Panthers out front, 29-28. Not much went right for LHS after that.
Reece Daniel’s 3-pointer opened the floodgates to a 12-0 run in which Jake Johnson scored the final seven points. The Cougars would lead 43-33 after three.
Ledford made a slight run and got the margin down to eight points with under a minute to play. The final 40 seconds were disastrous for the Panthers. They failed to score again and were whistled for three technical fouls. The Cougars made seven of their eight attempts to pull away.
McGee finished with 18 points for LHS. Johnson had 17 and Daniels 16 for Southwestern Randolph.
Ledford welcomes North Forsyth Tuesday.