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Lady Panthers defeated in district semi-finals

Cumberland Gap High School took it’s Lady Panthers basketball team back across Clinch mountain for the third day of the 2AA District Basketball Tournament, February 25. There was a mountain standing in front of them on the court as well in the form of the number one seeded Grainger Lady Grizzlies. The Lady Panthers lost 71-32.

Coach Dennis Cline said this was the key to a win against the Lady Grizzlies, “We must take care of the basketball. In the past the girls panicked when teams would pressure them. I told them to look for the open jersey tonight and be calm. That one thing will help us as much as anything. On any given night any team can be beat.”

When the ball was tipped off Grainger went on a 7-0 run before Abbie Fultz hit the first basket for the Gap. Preseley Cole followed that with another one in the paint. Abigail Garner hit a three and the Gap were down by only three. The Lady Panthers were handling the pressure defense well and were still right in the game after one period, 17-9. Garner found the three pointer to her liking and with 3:21 left in the half the Lady Panthers were down 26-20. Abbie Fultz hit a shot down low and the Grainger lead was only four. After two made free throws from Fultz the lead was only two. At the half the home team had made a run and was leading 33-24.

The Lady Panthers began the second half with a turnover and Grainger started putting points on the board rapidly. The man pressure defense finally created chaos and the score went out to 45-24. Kylie Fultz stopped the bleeding with a basket down low but the score was 53-28 in Grainger’s favor. Neveah Kerns also found the net down low and then the offense stalled again. At the end of the third period Grainger enjoyed a comfortable 59-32 lead. Grainger finished strong and won by the final score of 71-32.

Leading the Lady Panthers in scoring was Abigail Garner with 12 points, Kylie Fultz had six, three other had four each including Abbie Fultz, Neveah Kerns and Jaden Brock. Preseley Cole finished the total with two points.

Tori Rutherford led the Lady Grizzlies in scoring with 18.

The Lady Panthers will now play in the consolation game, February 25.