Pelham girls shine in senior-night victory

By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Managing Editor

PELHAM – As Pelham’s only two seniors, Lauren Watts and Tamia Nelson put on a show, particularly in the first half, to help lead the Panthers to a dominant senior-night victory over the Leeds Greenwave on Tuesday, Jan. 28.

The two seniors combined for 17 points in a 56-16 victory that brought the Panthers’ win streak to five in a row and their overall record to 19-5.

“It was a good win,” head coach Crosby Morrison said. “A lot of players got to play. Everyone scored but three players and sent our seniors out on a good win on our home court.

“Tamia Nelson and Lauren Watts have done a tremendous job for us. They took an 11-16 team last year and helped us to a 19-5 record this year with their leadership and how they led this team through adversity. They were awarded a big win and I’m super proud of them.”

Early in the game, Watts caught fire in her final home game by knocking down three 3-pointers for nine of Pelham’s 22 points in the opening quarter. In addition to her, Emma McKenney had four points, Laci Gogan hit a 3-pointer and Victoria West and Jaslyn Heflin each added jumpers.

While all of the points were impressive, what the defense was able to accomplish topped it by holding Leeds scoreless in the opening period.

Pelham continued that strong defensive play into the second period be eventually extending the opening run to 27-0 in the first 1:12 of the frame. Eventually the Greenwave scored, but at that point, they were trailing 30-2 with 5:16 left in the second quarter.

From that point, Pelham only scored four more points in the half, but the lead was never in danger as Leeds only added six more, which led to a halftime lead of 34-8 for the Panthers.

Coming out of the locker room, Pelham didn’t miss a beat from its strong defensive first half, as the Panthers went on to hold Leeds to just four more points in the third.

Pelham, however, poured in 13 more points to extend its lead by nine more points to 47-12 heading to the final quarter of play.

In the fourth, not much changed. Trailing by 35 points, the deficit was too large for the Greenwave to overcome, as they scored just four more points in the final period.

Pelham went on to have its lowest point total of any quarter in the game, but with the Panthers’ nine points, they still put away a 40-point win.

Gogan ended up leading the Panthers in the win with 12 points thanks to three jumpers and two 3-pointers. Watts finished just behind with 11 points thanks to her nine in the first quarter, while Nelson added eight in her final home game.

Pelham has now won 13 of its last 16 games.