The varsity girls basketball team traveled to Troy High School last night to face a familiar foe, the Springboro Panthers, in the District Semifinals. In a rematch of last year’s thrilling game also at Troy, the Elks were hoping for a similar result and another trip to the District Finals this weekend. The Panthers, however, turned the table on the Elks this year.
To say the girls got off to a disastrous start would be an understatement. The Panthers scored the game’s first 15 points and were poised to run away and hide from the Elks. However, the girls dug deep and dug in defensively to finish the first quarter on a 12-0 run to trail by just three, 15-12, after eight minutes of play. In the second quarter, the girls carried the momentum they had gained from the end of the first quarter by outscoring the Panthers, 16-9, to take a four-point lead into the locker room at halftime, 28-24. In the third quarter, the Elks built their lead to as many as ten, 40-30, which culminated a 40-15, 2 1/2 quarter run which would have broken most teams. However, the Panthers recovered and closed to within six at the end of the third quarter, 42-36. The Panthers then stunned the Elks with a 10-0 quarter-opening run to take a 46-42 lead. The Elks recovered and got within two at 52-50 with 13 seconds left. Springboro hit one of two free throws and a three point shot from the Elks came up short at the buzzer giving the Panthers a thrilling, 53-50, victory.
Freshman phenom Kendal George was on fire all night and buried 7 of her 8 three-point attempts to lead all scorers with 21. She was joined in double figures by junior Amy Velasco, who added 13. Sophomore Cotie McMahon had eight as she dealt with foul trouble all night.
The girls finish the season with a final record of 16-9.