After a long season of hard work, dedication, practice, and improvement, your 9th Grade Lady Panthers leave Myrtle Beach as the USBA National Championship Runner Ups! They left everything on the court literally. Blood, Sweat, and Tears. The journey only starts here. Who’s ready for next season already?
The Panthers started off the trip with a match up against their seemingly down south counterpart, the Down South Lady Panthers. With the game going neck and neck for the majority of the first and second half it seemed that it would come down to whoever had the ball last. That team ended up being the Down South Lady Panthers. With the game as close as 1 point within the last minutes it came down to foul shots. The Lady Panthers ended up falling in their first game by 5 points 42-47.
The Panthers found their way back on track with their second game against the NC Lady Gems. The Lady Gems are an Adidas Elite team coming out of North Carolina. This was a team that was definitely not lacking in the size category. That size on the other hand may have been their downfall. They could not keep up with the speed and intense pressure defense of the Lady Panthers. Match that with some timely outside shooting the Panthers ran to a 49-24 victory.
The next 2 games played out almost the same way in blowout fashion. The Panthers made easy work of the Lady Netters with an impressive 34 point victory, 57-23. That energy rolled right over to the next game against the Lady Bulldogs. Although they were a tough, physical team, they could not find a way to stop the 3 ball from falling. And it fell often with 9 shots dropping from 3 point land. Final result was a 45-23 victory for the Panthers.
With pool play wrapped up and a 3-1 record the Panthers grab the second seed an earn a match up with the undefeated Lady Thunder. Going into this game the Panthers had 1 thing on their mind, the championship game. They got exactly what they wanted jumping out to a 12 point lead on the Thunder and never looking back winning 59-37. Even with a 22 point victory it still doesn’t show just how focused this Panther team came out. They established dominance on both the offensive and defensive side of the ball.
On to the championship round they go and it’s rematch time. One more team to go if they want to take home that championship trophy, and it’s the team they have been dying to go back up against since the first game of the tournament. The Down South Lady Panthers and the Lady Panthers are back head to head and this time for the National Title. Again this game was another drag out, physical battle with 2 very closely matched teams. This meeting the DS Panthers pulled out a stingy 3-2 defense determined to take away the outside shot. The Lady Panthers in turn went into a 1-3-1 to slow down the speedy ball handlers and make them work the ball to the bigs where they had the advantage. Just like their first meeting this was anyones game. A late game Down South Panther 3 pointer seemed to put the game just out of reach, and your Lady Panthers fell 50-42. Although it wasn’t the ideal ending, the Panthers still pull 2nd place in Nationals and braggin rights until they grab first place next season.