Nine games in nine days present an excruciating schedule for any team at any level, but may have been exactly what the North Lamar Pantherettes needed. With back-to-back tournaments over the past two weekends, the Pantherettes answered the grueling challenge with a 2nd place finish in the King's Classic tournament at Paris.
NL started with Game 1 against Sulphur Springs on a day where the wind was strong enough to count as an extra player. Down 1-0 at the half, the Pantherettes would fire a flurry of shots on goal in second half play. Despite taking 8 shots on goal with the wind at their backs, NL could not find the goal and lost their tournament opener 1-0.
Coach Duanna Ewell made some positional changes for Game 2 that would pay off as the Pantherettes dominated Denison 5-0. This setup a Saturday morning matchup with Crandall that would determine seeding in the final round.
The daunting dilemma of playing in 37-degree rainy weather was exacerbated by the fact that they were facing Crandall. The team that eliminated NL from the playoffs last year. Refusing to be intimidated, the Pantherettes played stride for stride in a very physical game. Trailing 1-0 at halftime, NL fearlessly forced the ball forward taking shot after shot until finally Daisy Rangel (6) was able to score bringing the game to a 1-1 tie. The intensity of the game was evident as the Crandall coach and player were ejected from the game. The match ended in a 1-1 tie, placing NL in a tie with Paris for the 2 seed.
A misinterpretation of the tie-breaker rules resulted in a penalty kick showdown to determine which squad would face Sulphur Springs in the championship match. Both squads were perfect in the first round but the Pantherettes won the tie-breaker in the sudden death round 7-6.
In a match that started with snow flurries, NL would find themselves frozen out of the goal. Sulphur Springs won 1-0 to take the tournament championship.
In spite of the loss, Coach Ewell said she was pleased with the progress that the girls are making...and she was tired. In the midst of the tourney, her JV squad defeated Sulphur Springs 1-0, with Kerahgan Scott (13) scoring of an assist by Jamielynn Parker (22) . The varsity will next travel to face Celina on Tuesday night and will be in action against Sulphur Springs on Friday.