Panthers open Monroe City tournament with double victory

C.E. Talton starts the game jumping to gain possession of the basketball for the Panthers.

C.E. Talton starts the game jumping to gain possession of the basketball for the Panthers.

The 94th annual Monroe City Basketball tournament opened on December 3 with both the Panthers and Lady Panthers obtaining victory on the court.

The Lady Panthers played the first game against the Louisiana Bulldogs. The Lady Panthers wasted no time showing their talent on both offense and defense as they took the lead in the first quarter. By the end of the second quarter the audience could see the Bulldogs were not up to the challenge as the Lady Panthers dominated the court entering half-time with a score of 38-11.

The second half of the game was no different as Lady Panthers continued to shoot shot after shot increasing the scoreboard to a fallen Louisiana team. The game ended with a score of 70-16, advancing the Lady Panthers in the tournament. Hallie Dyer led the Lady Panthers scoring 22 points, while Jada Summers scored 13 points, followed by Lauren Youngblood with 11 points, Riley Quinn with 8 points, Bailee Hays scored 6 points, Clara Minor had 4 points. Lila Yager, Bailey Hays and Savannah Utterback had 2 points each.

Head Coach Cody Leonard stated, “Good first round game.  The team thought defensively and we executed well. We will have to keep working to improve for the rest of the week.  We will play a tough South Shelby team Wednesday night that we need to be ready for.”

Later in the evening the Lady Birds of South Shelby defeated Mark Twain, advancing them in the tournament. The Lady Panthers are scheduled to take on the Lady Birds of South Shelby on December 5 at 7 p.m.

At 5:30 p.m. the Panthers arrived on the court to play against Marion County. The Panthers mirrored the earlier game, giving their opponent no chance to give the Panthers a sliver of competition.

By half-time the Panthers were winning with a 50-point lead over the Marion Co. Mustangs. The game continued with the Panthers dominating both offensively and defensively, by stealing the ball, out rebounding and making basket after basket. The game ended with a winning score of 86-11, advancing the Panthers in the tournament. As of press time, the Panthers stats for the game were unavailable.

Later in the evening the South Shelby Cardinals defeated North Shelby with a score of 67-50. The Panthers will play against South Shelby on December 5 with a game scheduled to begin at 5:30 p.m.

The Monroe City Tournament is scheduled to continue throughout the rest of the week the Championship games scheduled for Saturday, December 8.

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