Lady Panthers defeat LMS Tigerettes in double overtime

Friday, December 21, 2012
LMS' Zachuriya O'Neal scores on a layup in the fourth quarter against E.O. Coffman after making a steal. Photos by Louis G. Scheuchenzuber

On Monday night, the Lewisburg Middle School Tigerettes (2-9) were dealt a gut wrenching defeat when they were beaten 34-25 at home by the E.O. Coffman Lady Panthers in double overtime.

E.O. Coffman had drubbed LMS 39-16 in their last encounter on Nov. 27, but the Tigerettes appeared they would get the better of the Lady Panthers in Monday's contest and held a 20-13 lead early in the fourth quarter.

Lewisburg, however, was unable to hold off E.O. Coffman down the stretch, as the Lady Panthers used a 9-2 run to send the game into overtime tied at 22-22.

Each team then tallied only one point in the first extra session before the Lady Panthers outscored the Tigerettes 11-2 in the second overtime to claim the nine-point victory.

Although both squads finished with 10 field goals and two three-pointers, Lewisburg left a number of points at the foul line and made just 3-of-17 free throws overall, compared to a 12-of-17 effort at the charity stripe by E.O. Coffman.

"Free throws were huge tonight. We couldn't quite put it away at the foul line and when you give a good team like Coffman extra opportunities they're going to cash in," said LMS coach Chris Coleman. "I loved the way we fought and told the girls after the game that hopefully this will help us during tournament time when it counts the most."

LMS' Taianda Hutton fires a jumper over E.O. Coffman's Maggie Holt in the third quarter.

Zachuriya O'Neal led the Tigerettes with eight points, seven steals, and three blocked shots, while Kendrah Ashby added six points and eight rebounds. Taianda Hutton also tallied four points and four steals, and Leah Hollingsworth chipped in three points. Sydne Solomon and Alli Hobbs rounded out the scoring for Lewisburg with two points apiece.

Maggie Holt paced the Lady Panthers with 10 points, while Alexis Fann notched seven points. Kylie Rosson and Emily Brewer tallied six points apiece for E.O. Coffman as well, and Cassandra Darnell had five points.

Points were hard to come by early on, as the Tigerettes held a 4-2 lead at the end of the first quarter thanks to a Solomon free throw and a trey by O'Neal.

Fann scored on an offensive put back early in the second period to tie the game at 4-4, before Lewisburg closed the first half with an 8-3 run, highlighted by a Hollingsworth three, to take a 12-7 advantage into the break.

The Lady Panthers outscored LMS 6-2 in the third quarter to slice the deficit to 14-3, but the Tigerettes rattled off six straight points early in the fourth period with the help of an O'Neal layup, a short bank shot by Hobbs, and an offensive put back by Ashby to forge a 20-13 lead.

After E.O. Coffman tallied the next six points to narrow the gap to 20-19, Hutton hit a jumper to make it 22-19 with 1:46 left in the fourth quarter before the Lady Panthers scored the final three points of regulation on three foul shots to knot the score at 22-22.

In the first overtime, O'Neal made one-of-two free throws with :55 left to give LMS a 23-22 lead, but Rosson was fouled on an put back attempt as time expired and hit the second of two foul shots to retie the game at 23-23.

E.O. Coffman then took control of the contest by notching the first seven points of the second overtime to grab a 30-23 lead with :49 remaining.

O'Neal hit a jumper to trim the deficit to 30-25, but Holt made four foul shots in the final 26 seconds to seal the Lady Panthers 34-25 victory.