The Lady Panthers jumped out to a 15-4 first-period lead and matched Jefferson County the rest of the way, winning 33-22.
After starting the season 0-8, the Panthers won the Lincoln County Christmas Classic Tournament Dec. 15, and kept the streak alive with a 63-59 win over Jefferson County.
With the Panthers clinging to a 61-59 lead and the Warriors (3-5) holding for the final shot, Roberto Gonzalez stole the ball with 12 seconds left, was fouled and sank two free throws to put the game out of reach.
That the Panthers won the game at the line was fitting as they sank 19-of-21 attempts for the night, led by Sam Powell, who was 11-of 13 while scoring a game-high 28 points. Powell added 11 rebounds and two blocked shots.
“We’ve been preaching the last two weeks we have to learn how to close people out and we proved we could do that tonight,” said head coach Jody Hilley.
The Panthers lost a six-point lead and trailed 57-55 with 2:20 to play, but outscored the Warriors 8-2 the rest of the way. BJ Raymond added 10 points and three assists, all in the second half.
Keeping the Warriors in the game, Montel Mitchell scored 19 points, LaDerrick Hammond added 18 and Xavier Hawthorne had 10.
The Lady Panthers (4-7) were able to take advantage of the Lady Warriors’ man-to-man defense in the first period. After the Lady Warriors switched to a zone in the second period, the game turned into a defensive battle the rest of the way.
“We’re coming along on defense,” said Lady Panthers head coach Drew Shelton. “You play good defense you have a good chance to win.”
With its own zone working well, the Panthers suffocated the Lady Warriors with its defensive rebounding, not allowing many second-chance opportunities.
On the offensive end, Rosalyn Talley scored 10 of her 17 game-high points in the first half.
Destiny Hatcher led the Lady Warriors with nine points.