Prep Hoops: Ledford boys come up short against Black Knights
Despite struggling to manufacture points for four quarters against North Davidson, the Ledford Panthers nearly pulled off the upset Friday night before ultimately falling to the 4-A Black Knights, 54-41.
Trailing 21-18 at halftime, the gritty Panthers battled through offensive woes while missing three starters due to illness or injury. Playing without senior Anthony Hughes, who will be sidelined for the remainder of the season with a broken foot, Ledford gave a spirited effort for three quarters.
"When you hold a team to 21 points in the first half, you can't ask for much more than that," Leonard said. "We've had a rough week. We lost pretty much the heart and soul of this team. He got hurt yesterday in practice, will have surgery Thursday and is out for the year."
Brandon Rothrock scored 13 points before fouling out halfway through the fourth. He wasn't the only participant disqualified Friday, as North coach Sammy Staten was ejected in the third quarter after arguing a series of foul calls.
The Panthers trailed by only one point at the time of Slaten's dismissal.
"We didn't play well at all for three quarters. From what I hear, we played better in the fourth," Slaten deadpanned. "They played harder than we did. We talked about it before we came over here. We were just trying to get our guys to play the same way, just as hard. I think we got the message tonight."
Brandon Easter poured in 25 points for the Black Knights. North's bench contributed 12 points, compared with the Panthers' reserves, who combined for four.
"I have no gripes with my defense," Ledford coach Jonathan Leonard. "Guys are working their butts off. It would have been a great win tonight, but it didn't happen. They're not going to give up."
Staff Writer Daniel Kennedy can be reached at 888-3575, or firstname.lastname@example.org.