Triple threat: Panthers claw out third consecutive area title against Lions

Published 12:29 pm Friday, February 10, 2023

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By LAUREN SEXTON | Sports Reporter

PELHAM – A strong start defensively and a fast close offensively helped the Pelham Panthers claim their third straight area tournament championship on Thursday, Feb. 10, with a 62-34 win over Briarwood.

In the 28-point win over the Lions, Pelham was able to use a strong offensive start of 21 points to build an early lead. 

A big reason for the success was a fast start that featured a 25-2 run in the first half to hep propel the Panthers. 

Laci Gogan and Tiauna King led the Panthers with both players posting three points in the opening quarter, while Gogan tacked on 13 points in the second quarter in addition to four more from King.

Niles Daniel knocked down a basket outside the arc in the first quarter and followed another bucket in the second quarter. 

Alayna Noble and Kaitlyn Hollingsworth totaled a combined three points from two field goals before the first half concluded.

Briarwood was led by Taylor Smith in the first half with two free throws and three field goals in the first quarter. Emma Kerley posted two points in the paint.

Anna Tatum Baker went two-for-two from the free-throw line for the only points the Lions could pick up in the second quarter.

Pelham continued their successful trend into the second half, as the Panthers again scored in double figures in the third and fourth quarter after Gogan scored eight points by herself to help the team post 29. 

Daniels tacked on another six points from three field goals, while Hollingsworth added four points from inside the paint.

On the other end, the Panthers again outscored the Lions to seven points in the second half, which allowed Pelham to extend the lead for an almost 30-point victory over Briarwood.

Baker carried the Lions with a basket outside the arc in the third quarter and four free throws in the fourth quarter Smith followed Baker after posting four points inside the paint and two from the free-throw line.

Kerley went two-for-two, while Colleen Lehane posted three points outside the arc and Brooklyn Barnett picked up two in the paint. 

Gogan led all scorers with 24 points in the win, while King followed with 18 and Daniel had 10 points. 

Smith led the Lions with 14 points and Baker tacked on nine points.