With fresh momentum coming off a great win against the Greeneville Green Devils the Lady Panthers made the trip across Clinch Mountain and into Grainger County January 31 for what looked to be an exciting game of basketball.
The Lady Panthers have been playing exceptional basketball as of late and have increased their record to 12-8. They were up against a perennial power and were looking to spring another upset as the two teams took to the floor. After the tip, it was the visiting Lady Panthers who got an early 5-0 lead. The Lady Grizzlies settled down and quickly made it 5-3. As the first period was winding down Grainger caught and passed the Lady Panthers on the scoreboard and led 12-8.
During the next eight minutes the Lady Panthers’ six straight turnovers hurt them and allowed the Lady Grizzlies to pull away even further. They broke the drought with a basket in the paint but by 3:14 were down 22-13. By the end of the first half Grainger had a 24-18 lead.
It was anyone’s guess what the Lady Panthers would do coming out of the locker room and they responded by allowing the Lady Grizzlies to pull out to a 10-point lead. On the defensive end of the floor Cumberland Gap worked hard but gave up too many points in transition. The Lady Panthers kept firing up shots and kept the lead under 10 until around the three minute mark in the third when the Lady Grizzlies went up 11. With the clock under two minutes the Lady Grizzlies missed on two fast break opportunities but we’re able to finish the third holding the lead at 38-24.
Down 14 points, Lady Panthers Head Coach Dennis Cline had to inspire his team to give an effort like during the previous game against the Lady Green Devils. Cumberland Gap forced Grainger into back to back empty possessions but couldn’t find a way to capitalize on the chances. The Lady Grizzlies’ lead moved out to 45-26 with five minutes remaining in the game.
At the final buzzer the Lady Grizzlies had the win by the final score of 58-28. With the win Grainger moves its record to 18-5.
Leading the Lady Panthers in scoring was Hayli England with 10. Hayley Wilson had nine points. Brooke McMichael finished with four points and Hannah Heath had three. Brittney Cupp was held to three points.
Kaitlin Simon had 23 to lead the Lady Grizzlies.
Reach Allen Earl at 423-254-5588 or on Twitter @pitchadude.