An early 20-4 lead for the Southeastern Lady Panthers proved to be too much for Eastern Brown to overcome, in a 48-45 win in the Girls D-3 District Semis at Waverly's Downtown Gym, Thursday night.
Southeastern's Ella Skeens scored 21 points and grabbed 16 rebounds, while also surpassing Kristal Tharp's all-time SVC and Ross County career scoring record of 2,255. McKinley Mitten added 12 points for the Lady Panthers, who avenged a district final loss to Eastern Brown from last year.
Southeastern never trailed in the game, but it was very close down the stretch as Eastern Brown pulled to within one point on three occasions in the fourth quarter. SE led 13-4 after the first quarter, 26-12 at half and 35-31 after three periods. The Lady Warriors had opportunities to take the lead when they were down 35-34, 37-36 and 39-38, but Southeastern came up with big defensive stops each time. On two of those possessions, Southeastern senior Mandy Morris made huge defensive plays. One was a diving effort for a loose ball that gained a possession and the other was a steal which she turned into a lay-up.
Other scorers for the Lady Panthers were Rachel Collins with 6, Mandy Morris 5 and Skylar Hice with 4. Hice also had 6 rebounds and 5 for Collins.
Eastern Brown was led by Whitney Broughton's 15 points and Morgan Reynolds with 8. Eastern Brown's 6'0 twin-towers of Alexa Pennington and Mikayla Farris were checked on a combined 8 points.
The big difference in the game was the foul line. Southeastern had five less field goals for the game, but were 18/26 at the charity stripe while Eastern was only 5/9. SE shot 13/35 from the field for 37%- including 4/10 from the arc. The Lady Warriors were 18/52 for 35%- including 4/11 at the arc.
The Lady Panthers out-rebounded the taller Warriors 31-26. Southeastern had 12 turnovers to 11 for (20-5) Eastern Brown.
Southeastern improves to (21-4) and advances to the noon March 3rd District Championship against (23-1) Minford. The Lady Falcons advanced with a 50-42 win over Alexander. 94 Country WKKJ will be there for the play-by-play call.
To listen to the podcast of the Thursday's game, which includes post game interviews with Coach Mike Adams and player Ella Skeens, go to our link found below...