Helena girls fall to Pelham

Published 4:34 pm Monday, January 30, 2023

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By LAUREN SEXTON | Sports Reporter

PELHAM – Not only did the Pelham Panthers earn a major area win by a single point to county foe Helena on Friday, Jan. 27, but a 57-29 win earned Pelham the hosting rights for the area tournament in the following week.

In the first quarter, the Panthers started off with a strong defensive run against the Huskies. Helena was limited to four points from the free throw line from Sophia Merchant and Jatericca Moody.

Pelham posted 20 points of its own with senior Laci Gogan leading the charge after knocking down three baskets outside the arc and one from the free-throw line. 

Tiauna King followed Gogan with two baskets from the free-throw line and a basket outside of the arc. Niles Daniel tacked on two points.

Although the Huskies managed to pick up double the points they had in the first quarter before the first half concluded, Pelham extended its lead to 27-12 in the second quarter after posting 10 more points.

Helena’s Claire Schultz made the front end of a one-and-one, while Grant picked up a three-point field goal. Olivia Johnigan and Amari Grant totaled a combined four points.

Pelham’s Kaitlyn Hollingsworth posted a three-point field goal and Gogan totaled three points from a field goal and a free throw. Kamara Wynn and King totaled a combined four points.

Returning from the break, Helena made great strides in attempting to close the gap between them and the Panthers. However, Pelham posted another 19 points after a strong offensive run in the third quarter.

Johnigan led Helena with a single basket knocked down outside the arc. Grant and Moody posted two points each from inside the paint, while Merchant picked up a point from the free-throw line.

Gogan led the Panthers with two field goals totaling six points, while King followed with one basket knocked down inside the arc and one outside the arc. 

Daniel picked up two points in the paint and then went two for two from the free-throw line. Wynn knocked down three free throws and Caley Peterson made one.

The Panthers secured their area victory with another 11 points picked up, while Helena added another nine points.

Moody led the Huskies with five points posted in the final quarter. Schultz and Grant totaled a combined four points.

Wynn led the Panthers with two free throws and two baskets totaling a combined four points. King made the front end of a one-and-one, while Averi Smith went two-for-two from the free-throw line. Daniel tacked on two points.

Gogan was Pelham’s leading scorer with 18 points posted, King followed Gogan with 13 points.

Moody led the Huskies with nine points, while Merchant followed with eight points.

Pelham is now the regular season champ for the 6A Region 8 and will host the area tournament. Helena will go up against Briarwood for a spot in the championship round of the tournament.