Lady Panthers claim district championship
By Justin Scrimshire
ONL Sports Reporter
Porter Consolidated played host for the 2020 District 6 playoffs and advanced to the championship round after defeating Hulbert, 53-33 on Friday, February 21st. The Okemah Lady Panthers awaited Porter Consolidated in the finals after a first-round bye.
Whatever psychological advantage Porter Consolidated looked to gain from their home court advantage faded quickly as the visitors section of the basketball court filled to capacity with Panther fans prior to the championship game on Saturday, February 22nd.
The Lady Panthers began the game with an aggressive press on defense. Okemah managed to hold Porter Consolidated to just 8 points during the first quarter, but the Lady Panthers struggled on the offensive side of the ball and only managed to score 7 points.
During the first quarter Cameron Duncan put 2 points on the board from the foul line, Emily Harris scored 2 points and Abby Harelson scored 3 points on a basket and an extra point from the free throw line after drawing a shooting foul.
The Lady Panthers opened the second quarter with a 7-0 run and would maintain the lead for the remainder of the game. Porter Consolidated pulled within 2 points in the final minute of the first half but a basket from Abby Harelson with five seconds left in the quarter gave Okemah a 22-18 halftime lead.
The second quarter saw offensive points scored by Abby Harelson with 5 points, Jenna Berryhill and Emily Harris with 3 points each and Sophie Turner with 2 points.
Okemah widened the point differential early in the 3rd quarter with a 6-0 run but Porter Consolidated fought back to bring the score within three points as they kept the Lady Panthers from scoring during the final three minutes of the third quarter. Despite their scoring drought, Okemah held a 32-29 lead as the final quarter got underway.
Jenna Berryhill, Cameron Duncan and Emma Vansant had 2 points each and Sophie Turner scored 4 points during the third quarter.
The fourth quarter wound up being a rowdy affair that included a Porter-Consolidated player fouling out after several errant elbows throughout the game finally garnered the attention of the refs, much to the delight of the packed visitor’s section of the stadium.
Once again, the Lady Panthers opened the quarter up with a scoring frenzy, going on a 9-0 run. This time, Okemah maintained that gap as they dropped 24 points in the quarter. During the final three minutes of the game, Okemah scored 10 points, with 8 of those points coming from free throws.
The final score reflected the dominance that Okemah played with throughout the entirety of the game as the Lady Panthers celebrated their district championship victory, 56-37.
During the final quarter Sophie Turner scored 10 points, Abby Harelson scored 6 points, Cameron Duncan scored 4 points and Emily Harris and Jenna Berryhill each had 2 points.
Okemah will host Regionals beginning on Thursday, February 27th through Saturday, February 29th inside the Tom Condict Panther Dome. The Lady Panthers will face off against Central Sallisaw Thursday night at 6:30 p.m.