|Martin squads easily advance |
By Sara Reid
Not so fast — Martin Panther Ryan Copeland (right) slows down Black Oak’s Dayton Lyons during the Panthers’ 59-14 victory in the Area 5 TMSAA quarterfinals Saturday night.
Special to The Press
Both the Martin Middle School Panthers and Lady Panthers had little trouble putting away first round opponents in the Area 5 TMSAA Basketball Tournament Saturday night in Martin.
The Lady Panthers, the No. 1 seed who earned a first-round bye, defeated the fifth-seeded Ridgemont Lady Mustangs in the first semifinal game, 50-27, and the Panthers, a No. 2 seed, won over the seventh-seeded Black Oak Eagles, 59-14, in a quarterfinal contest.
In the girls game, Taylor Swaim opened the scoring for Martin. With 2:21 on the clock, Billie Pruett hit two free throws to tie the game, but from there it was all Martin and the Lady Panthers led 11-2 at the end of one frame.
In the second quarter, a Pruett layup stopped the Martin run and with just under three minutes left in the second quarter, she hit a 3-pointer to bring Ridgemont within six points, 13-7. A pair of free throws from Paige Hicks made the score 13-9, but Brittany McClanahan added a bucket for the Lady Panthers to make the halftime score 15-9 in favor of Martin.
Swaim took over in the third quarter, scoring eight points. The Lady Panthers held the Lady Mustangs to a lone 3-pointer from Pruett and increased the lead 31-12.
Using bonus free throws to their advantage in the final frame, the Lady Panthers hit 9-of-11 attempts from the stripe to put the game away.
Swaim led the Lady Panthers with 18 points. Pruett had 10 for Ridgemont.
Martin will play the winner of the Lake Road and South Fulton game at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday in Martin to determine the tournament champion.
In the second game, the Panthers jumped out to a 19-0 lead in the first quarter. Black Oak’s Blake Rudd broke the run, but Martin led 23-2 after one.
The Eagles found the range in the second quarter and put up eight points, but the Martin reserves continued the scoring for the host school and at the half, the Panthers led 36-10.
Holding the Eagles to a pair of free throws in the third quarter, Martin scored 17 points to pull ahead farther and needed only three points in the final quarter to win in large fashion, 59-14.
Both Mason Capps and R.J. Scott had eight points for the Panthers in a very balanced scoring attack. Numerous Black Oak players had two points each for the visitors.
The Panthers will next face South Fulton at 8 p.m. on Thursday in Martin with a berth in the tourney championship game on the line.