Clock strikes on Lady Panther’s season

Published 12:00 am Thursday, February 24, 2005

TROY – The clock on the Southside High School Lady Panthers’ season had been sitting at 11:59 for the past week.

On Wednesday, it finally struck midnight.

The Cinderella season ended for the Lady Panthers in a 43-35 loss to Ashford in the semifinals of the AHSAA Class 4A Southeastern Regionals Tournament at Troy University.

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The Lady Panthers put together their worst shooting performance of the season, hitting just 24 percent (14-of-59) from the field for the game. Southside especially struggled from beyond the three-point arc, where they were just 3-of-28.

Southside coach Matthews Williams Jr. was unavailable for comment following the game.

While the Lady Panthers struggled from the perimeter, Ashford successfully executed its game plan of gaining penetration and scoring in the paint against Southside’s zone defense.

Ten of Ashford’s 12 first-quarter points came in the paint en route to a 12-10 advantage.

While Ashford was scoring nearly at will, the Lady Panthers continued to struggle, missing their first five shots of the second period.

Despite their poor shooting performance, the Lady Panthers were able to stay in the game with a strong rebounding performance.

The Lady Panthers out-rebounded Ashford 23-17 in the first half and 47-38 for the game.

Anderson hit her second three-pointer with 1:35 to go in the first half to pull the Lady Panthers back to within three, 20-17.

The teams traded baskets and Ashford held a 22-19 lead at intermission.

After a long halftime meeting that saw the Southside take the floor just as the halftime break expired, the Lady Panthers appeared ready to take over the game.

Anderson knocked down another three, this one from the right wing, to tie the game at 22. Jessica Rush hit the front end of two charity shots to give Southside a 23-22 advantage.

Meanwhile, Ashford struggled from the field, missing its first 13 shots and a combined 5-of-6 free throws in the third period.

Chywanna Marshall’s jumper from the left wing with 1:32 to go in the third was Ashford’s first bucket of the period and gave Ashford a 25-24 lead.

The two teams fought tooth and nail for the rest of the period. Marshall added a jumper from the right wing with 12 seconds left in the third as Ashford regained a 27-26 lead.

With Southside trailing 29-26 early in the fourth quarter, Kimberly Broadnax lifted the Lady Panthers back into the lead.

Broadnax’s lay-up started a three-point play that tied the game. Broadnax added two free throws and Southside grabbed a 31-29 lead.

But the Lady Panthers again went cold, missing their next nine shots. By the time Southside came up with its next basket – a Broadnax lay-up with 1:39 to go – Ashford had gone on a 10-0 run to pull away.