No one is happier to be moving on the next round of the North Half playoffs than Myrtle head coach Chris Greer. After a disappointing loss to Byers in the Division 2-1A championship last Saturday, the Lady Hawks struggled in their opening round match-up against Pine Grove Monday night.
Myrtle connected on three triples in the first quarter, leading 14-9, but a resilient Panther squad did not back down, cutting their deficit to as few as two points in the second. The Lady Hawks closed the half on a 10-6 run, taking a 28-22 lead to the break. While Myrtle connected on five three-pointers in the half, they were only 3-of-7 at the free throw line.
Aspriona Gilbert gave the Lady Hawks their first double-digit lead, 35-25, but that was short lived as the Panthers went on an 11-5 run, including a three-pointer by Lacy Blakney at the end of the frame, making it 40-36.
Myrtle shut down the Panthers in the fourth, as Pine Grove only managed three points and the Lady Hawks moved ahead with the 54-39 win.
“We played terrible, but Pine Grove had a good plan,” Greer said. “Kiana and Jenna normally hit those shots, and they did a good job handling Aspriona. I thought we took advantage in the fourth quarter, holding the ball, but we just didn’t play well in the first half.”
Gilbert led Myrtle with 15 points, followed by 12 from Judon, all from three-point range, and Halle Knowles scored 11 points.
Bryanna Davis led the Panthers with 15, while Blakney added 12 points.
Myrtle also played without senior Keanna Cox, who suffered a shoulder injury in last Saturday’s championship game. Greer expects her to return in time for their next game on Thursday.
Myrtle will next play the Ray Brooks/Okolona winner at 8:30 p.m. on Thursday.