Lady Panthers lose, 57-45, Panther boys lose, 78-76
The Panthers and Lady Panthers spent a good chunk of their Friday nights on the pavement between Centralia and Edina as the travelled northeast to engage Clarence Cannon Conference rival the Highland Cougars in some sometimes-friendly high school basketball.
It was nip and tuck for the Lady Panthers, who in the end could be said to have been defeated at the free-throw line. Official estimates are not yet available but Lady Cougar Coach Meleia Niemann, thought they were 20 for 20 at the line.
Lady Panther Head Coach Becca Schemmer thought it was 19, but said either way Lady Cougars’ free throws contributed to Highland’s 57-45 win over Centralia.
The game started with Centralia ahead, courtesy of a Mary Kate Bennett layup.
But highland gradually caught up and in the last minute of the first the game was tied at 11. With 10 left on the clock Baylee Beard put Centralia back on top with an under the net overhand shot.
Then Highland’s Addy Johnson hit a three at the buzzer to give Highland the lead 14-13.
The Lady Panthers never got it back.
Halftime say Highland ahead 29-19.
Centralia fought to close the distance and finished the third, still down 38-31.
They never got closer and Highland finished the game, winning 57-45.
“It was just a battle between two very similar teams,” Neimann said afterward. “The two teams are a lot alike and tonight I think our free-throws made the difference.”
Schemmer agreed. “We gave them some easy two points where all they had to do was walk down the court.”
Bennett led Centralia with 15 points, Beard had 13 and Chris Heimann had six.
Johnson led Highland, and the game, with 16.
The Lady Panthers are now 9-11, the Lady Cougars 9-11.
The boys got off to a strong start and finished the first quarter 18-9 and led 38-30 at the half.
Highland caught Centralia at the end of the third quarter and took the lead, 47-45.
Centralia caught them but could not seal the deal and the fourth quarter ended with the teams tied at 65.
Highland caught them in overtime and won the game 78-76.
For the whole story, see next week’s edition of the Centralia Fireside Guard.