It had everything you could want in a rivalry-type game. In the end, though, it was a Bill Jones layup at the buzzer that gave the Pantherettes a 51-49 victory.
Both teams battled back and forth most of the game. The first half ended in a 21-21 tie. It was the third quarter in which North Lamar really took over the game. The Pantherettes out scored Paris High 21-11 in the quarter, capped off by the birthday girl Mckayla Figueroa laying in a basket at the buzzer.
With the game seemingly in hand for North Lamar, Paris High dominated the fourth quarter. The Lady Cats went on a 12-0 run to start the quarter and take a 44-42 lead over the visiting Pantherettes. From there, the game was back and forth once again. Neither team able to get out to a comfortable lead.
With less than a minute to play and North Lamar trailing by two points, junior Madison Morrison went to the free throw line and calmly sank both shots to tie the game at 49. Paris, with the ball, had jump shot fall short with 10 seconds to play. Jones secured the rebound for North Lamar, as they quickly got it up court and called a time out.
With under four seconds to play in the game, North Lamar called Bill's number.
"Coach called a timeout and said the ball was coming to me." - Bill Jones
The reason he knew this was because he had a feeling they were going to double team Madison, which they did. The ball was thrown into Bill, however Paris was able to deflect the ball. What happened next was Michaela Smith grabbed the ball and immediately passed the ball back down to Bill. Bill turned around and layer the ball in off the glass as the horn sounded.
"Michaela Smith had an awesome play to get me the ball quickly. I new I only had a few seconds so I tried getting it off as quickly as I could." - Bill Jones
As the ball went through the basket, the visiting crowd erupted in jubilation. The visiting crowd watched in stunned disbelief. The Lady Cats were that close to securing their first district win of the season, but instead, they walked away in defeat.
"Coming in here we knew it was going to be a tough game. Paris played better than they did last time and they've been playing a lot better, so I commend them for that." - Brett Harp
The victory is the fourth straight for the Pantherettes, who move to 6-3 in district. A pretty nice record considering the way District started for this team.
"One of the sayings we have for this year is PUSH. PUSH stands for Persist Until Something Happens." - Brett Harp
It wasn't necessarily the prettiest game, though. Both teams combined for 82 free throw attempts, only making 45. There were 19 three pointers attempted with only one made. In the end, though, North Lamar got the much-needed victory.
The Pantherettes will host Pleasant Grove Tuesday night in the final district game of the season.
North Lamar 11 10 21 9 51
Paris High 10 11 11 17 49
Madison Morrison - 14 points, 3 rebounds, 3 steals
Bill Jones - 10 points, 8 rebounds, 1 steal
Sydney Chadwick - 8 points, 3 rebounds, 2 steals
Sierra Rice - 5 points, 5 rebounds, 4 steals
Bailee Nickerson - 5 points, 5 rebounds, 1 steal
Michaela Smith - 4 points, 2 rebounds, 1 steal
Mckayla Figueroa - 4 points
Sydnee Prunty - 1 point, 4 rebounds, 1 block
Alex Honeywood - 2 rebounds