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Hephzibah Rebels too much for Lady Panthers
A Hephzibah Rebel opponent helps Metra Walthour off the court floor and gives her a pat on the back for a good play. Walthour scored 19 points in Friday's loss. - photo by Phgoto by Patty Leon
The Lady Panthers tried something different in Friday's game against the Lady Hephzibah Rebels. They tried to slow the Rebels pace.
The Lady Rebels, looking more like a mini WNBA team, were not deterred and instead were patient in their defense. Like hunters they waited and watched and when the moment was right they struck their prey with steals from bad passes and rebounds to mount a scoring attack. The Panthers could not recover. In the end they had the Lady Panthers by 20 (35-55).
"We did what we set out to do in the first quarter," Lady Panther coach Carolyn Kelly said. "We knew coming into this ballgame that we could not trade basket for basket against Hephzibah. The game plan was to try and slow the ball down and take them out of their game plan. And it actually worked in the first quarter."
The coach said the difference in the game was her team missed several key baskets. Approximately eight were missed lay-ups just underneath the net. Another factor, Kelly said, was the Lady Panthers had 14 turnovers going into halftime.
"You can't beat a team like this missing that many key shots and missing that many baskets and turning the ball over too much," she said. "When I say turning the ball over, it's not like the pressure was on. They were not tight on us at all. It's just that we need to learn to play under pressure. We turned the ball over by just literally giving them the basketball and every mistake we made they capitalized on."
Lady Rebels coach Wendell Lofton said it was a great win on the road but felt his team lacked the defense necessary as they approach the playoffs.
"We really didn't play good defense tonight," he said. "Our offense is so fluid that it is hard for other teams to find one player because when they find one player we just put the ball with somebody else. From this point on, until I get to the playoffs, we are going to work on defense and boxing out. That little number five player they have (Metra Walthour) she knows how to shoot and play, she is something else. But we need to play against someone like that because if we don't when we get to the playoffs we won't have the feeling."
Walthour did lead the Lady Panthers, scoring 19 points and showing she had the skills and abilities to take on the Rebels. She just didn't have the back up.
Aarika Judge led the Rebels with 12 points. The Lady Rebels are 20-1 and 8-0.
Another factor was that Lady Panther forward LaQuananisha Adams was still on the bench. She is rehabilitating and receiving therapy for a strained medial collateral ligament. Her return is unlikely for the rest of the season.
The Lady Panthers were scheduled to travel to Camden County for a 6:30 p.m. tip-off Saturday. They host St. Vincent's on Tuesday night at 6 p.m. It is also senior night.

Metra Walthour 19
Miata Askew 5
Kourtney Alexander 5
Candice Barham 4
Janesha Ross 2

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