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Lady Panthers 86, Burke County 48
Coming up: Miata Askew is among the younger Panther players who have stepped up their game for the Lady Panthers’ squad. - photo by Phgoto by Patty Leon
The Lady Panthers had their first region win over the Lady Bears of Burke County this past Friday, making them 1-0 in 3-AAA Region and 5-1 overall.
While LaQuananisha Adams and Metra Walthour continue to lead the team, Lady Panther head coach Carolyn Kelly said she is pleased with some of her younger players who are beginning to step up into the leadership role for the future of her team.
In the game on Dec. 4 against Tattnall County, it was ninth grader Precious Williams who led the scores. In Friday’s game against Burke, junior Candice Barham stepped up her role.
“Candice is doing really well for us,” Kelly said. “She scored 18, 13 and 15 points in the last few games and that is what we needed. We needed another player to step up and add to the points. Candice is a junior now and she can dribble the ball, she can jump and she brings good offense to the game. She stepped up to the challenge and is doing extremely well.”
Kelly said having players such as Adams and Walthour for the past four years made some of the younger players, such as Miata Askew and Kourtney Alexander, somewhat dependent on getting the ball to the key players. But they are now transitioning the younger players.
“When we brought in Miata and Kourtney as freshmen, they knew Metra and Nisha were the leaders and they could give them the ball to do the work,” Kelly said. “Now we are at a point where we are trying to change that and let them know they need to start becoming the leaders and count on themselves for scoring.”
Part of the Panthers’ strategy is to plan their defense and offense around the team they will be facing.
“We scouted Burke before we played them and we knew they had a freshman that could play extremely well,” Kelly said. “So we prepared our team as to what kind of defense we would have to run on them. We ran a box defense and a 12 defense and our kids were just on fire that night. They played defense extremely well, they got after the ball they were able to get out to those wing shooters a lot and I think that was the difference in the ball game. We were able to intimidate them with our defense in the first half.”
While the Lady Panthers have made significant improvements in their defense, their offense is still a work in progress, according to Kelly.
“We still have some improvements to do on offense but these kids have the talent,” she said. “It’s just a matter of giving them the confidence they need. Wayne is not a regional game. Neither is Beach or Camden County but these are the games we can use for our girls to gain the experience they need as we approach the regional games against Hephzibah and Richmond Hill. It lets us know where we are and what we have to work on.”
The Lady Panthers faced Wayne County on Tuesday night. A match Kelly said was evenly matched and noted the Lady Jackets are physically and athletically equivalent to her Panther squad. The score for that game will be in Friday’s Coastal Courier.
The Panthers hit the home court again Friday night as they host Beach in a rematch from earlier this season. Tip-off is scheduled for 6:30 p.m.

Scoring points
Metra Walthour 28
LaQuananisha Adams 22
Candice Barham 18
Miata Askew 8
Kourtney Alexander 4
Marcella Gordon 4
Precious Williams 2
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