Home / Tournament titles for Lady Panthers, Lady Chiefs
Tournament titles for Lady Panthers, Lady Chiefs
Basketball fans will have to wait until next year for what should be a great match-up between two of the top girls basketball teams in the area, but when McIntosh and Starr’s Mill tangle at the Panther Pit on Jan. 12 you’ll want to be there.
Both teams started the 2012-2013 season with play in Thanksgiving tournaments and both teams won the whole thing.
Entering last season, Starrs’ Mill had never won a basketball tournament.
In 2011 the Lady Panthers finally broke the drought by winning the Marlin Classic in Panama City. The team opened this season with the Locust Grove Thanksgiving Tournament and now has two tournament championships to their credit.
In the opening game, the Lady Panthers beat their newest region foe, Ola, 53-18. Jenna Ricker had 10 points and seven rebounds, Danielle Garcia had nine points, eight rebounds and two steals and Alex Pitts had eight points and six assists as the Panthers upped their legendary defensive pressure in the second half and only allowed five points.
Game two pitted the Panthers against Locust Grove. The Panthers jumped out to an early lead and never looked back, winning 70-29. Point guard Katie Wilson paced the team with 14 points and five rebounds while Pitts (13 points, four rebounds, two steals), Ariana Mendola (eight points, nine rebounds), Lexi Pappas (eight rebounds), and Kelsey Clark (four points, three rebounds, one block, one steal) made major contributions.
The final was against Union Grove, and they were unable to slow down the Lady Panthers either. The Panthers won 68-27 behind an impressive performance from senior Madison Highland (six points, four rebounds, five assists, one block), Wilson (12 points, seven assists, four steals) and Garcia (11 points, seven rebounds, one block). Katie Buck was a major contributor off the bench with 10 points as she knocked down both of her 3-point attempts. The Lady Panthers shot 20-46 from three point range throughout the course of the three day tournament.
McIntosh played in the Whitewater High School HoopsFest with games last Saturday, Monday and Tuesday. The Lady Chiefs won all three games and emerged as tournament champions. Last Saturday they defeated Pope 51-44. Gabby Seiler led McIntosh in scoring with 24 points, seven rebounds and six steals, while Abby Birrell chipped in six points and seven rebounds. Cassidy Williams and Maddie O’Rourke both had seven points and O’Rourke and Christine Cerezola each had eight rebounds. They followed it with a 44-32 win over Woodland, Henry on Monday. Seiler had 23 points in the win over Woodland and added seven rebounds and four steals. Williams had nine points and four rebounds. On Tuesday night, in the championship game of the tournament, the McIntosh girls beat South Gwinnett 46-35.
The Lady Chiefs came out on fire with four players each scoring on a three pointer on the way to a 14-2 lead at the end of the first quarter. Williams took over in the second quarter, scoring 10 of her 27 points in the quarter. The scoring slowed down for McIntosh in the second half but the team maintained the pace and control of the game. Williams added five rebounds to her scoring, while Kristin Campbell chipped in seven points and four rebounds and Seiler added five points, 12 assists, four steals and five deflections. Seiler was named to the all-tournament team.
“We played good defense for the whole tournament and tonight we shot the ball well,” head coach David Dowse said. “We have a mature group and good senior leadership. They’ve been in the system and they understand the expectations on and off the court. It will be fun to sit back and watch.”
McIntosh faces their recent foe, Forest Park, on Tuesday. The Forest Park Panthers eliminated McIntosh from the state playoffs the last two years, 35-34 this past February and 51-49 in March of 2011.