Latta — Much has been said about a Latta Lady Panthers’ defense that has allowed just a hair over 30 points per game this season. But Latta’s offense was efficiently good Saturday night.
No. 8 Latta shot 46 percent from the field and got 13 points each from Shelbey Parnacher and Krisha Young and breezed past No. 17 Rush Springs 55-43 in a Class 2A Regional championship contest.
Latta improved to 20-7 heading into a 2A Area championship showdown with No. 5 Cordell Friday night inside Byng’s Bill Koller Fieldhouse. The Lady Redskins (21-4) fell into consolation play and will meet Calera Thursday at 6:30 p.m. in Byng.
Latta head man David Tinkler admitted his team is a tough matchup for anyone when it can put points on the board. The Lady Panthers hit 19-of-41 field goals against Rush Springs.
“No doubt about it. We only give up around 30 a game. If we can score that many points, we feel pretty good about it,” he said. “We had a little bit of trouble getting in sync ... but my little guards found gaps to penetrate in. When we did run our offense, we got good shots.”
The Lady Panthers built early leads of 15-8 and 20-12 before Jacy Cullens of Rush Springs hit four unanswered free throws to get the Lady Redskins within 20-16 at the 4:54 mark of the second quarter.
Latta would end the quarter on an 11-4 run to grab a 31-20 lead at halftime. Laramie Edens scored six of her eight points during that span, including the final four points of the quarter.
Krisha Young and Nelania Baker combined for a 7-0 Latta run that pushed the lead to 38-22 at the 4:58 mark of the third quarter.
Cullens, who finished with a game-high 19 points, hit back-to-back baskets late in the quarter to get Rush Springs within 42-30.
The Lady Redskins would then open the fourth period with a 9-4 run to cut their deficit to 48-39 with 4:26 to play, but Rush Springs would get no closer.