Carla Harris, special correspondent
The Ada News
In the first game of the night Tuesday at the Bill Johnson Field House, the Latta Lady Panthers pulled out a 36-28 victory over the Lady Longhorns from Stonewall despite only shooting 11-of-44 (25 percent) from the field.
Latta, ranked No. 14 in the latest Class 2A poll, forced 21 turnovers and outrebounded Class A No. 12 Stonewall 25-17. The LHS defense once again was the key to the victory. Stonewall led 10-3 after the first quarter, but Latta held them scoreless in the second.
With the win, Latta heads into the break at 6-3 and Stonewall stands at 9-3.
In the last game of the night, Stonewall scored the first bucket, but it was all Latta after that. The Panthers had eight players reach the scoring column in cruising to a 66-40 win.
The Panthers' size was just too much for Stonewall. Latta had a 29-19 rebounding advantage and three Panthers reached double digits on the night. Latta, ranked third in Class 2A, heads into the break with a perfect 9-0 record. With the loss, Stonewall falls to 8-4.
Latta 36 Stonewall 28
Stonewall jumped out to an early 5-0 lead off buckets by Kim Helms and Lyndsay Daffern.
Taryn Wood knocked down a three for Latta at the 5:55 mark, which would be the only bucket the Lady Panthers would score during the quarter. Stonewall would go on to score two more times in the quarter and lead 10-3 after one. During the first quarter, Latta shot a dismal 1-of-11 from the field, while Stonewall was 4-of-8.
The second quarter belonged to Latta, though. The Lady Panthers forced 10 turnovers in the quarter and out-rebounded Stonewall 13-9. Latta scored 11 points in the quarter and led 14-10 at halftime.
During the third quarter, Sydney Brinlee scored the first bucket for Latta just 40 seconds into the quarter to push the lead to 16-10. Helms would answer for Stonewall with her second trey of the game to bring Stonewall back to within three. Shelbey Parnacher was fouled going up for a shot with 5:07 left in the quarter and connected on both of her free throws to push the lead back to five at 18-13.
On the other end, Tana Davis was fouled and hit one of two from the line to put Stonewall back within four. Nelaina Baker would hit her first bucket of the game to give Latta a 20-14 advantage with 4:10 to go in the quarter.
Stonewall would not go away, as Breann Gipson scored inside to cut the lead down to four. The next two points scored by both teams would come from the free-throw line. With Latta leading 22-18, Gipson would knock down a bucket to bring Stonewall within two with 10 seconds left in the quarter. Latta would miss on the other end, but Amy Hooser grabbed an offensive rebound and put back the bucket to give Latta a 24-20 advantage heading into the final stanza.
Just 20 seconds into the fourth, Gipson would score again to bring Stonewall back with two at 24-22. Neither team would score for the next two minutes until Latta’s Carlee Henderson hit a bucket with 5:40 left.
After a Stonewall turnover, Henderson would nail a 3-pointer to push to Latta's lead to seven at 29-22 with 5:15 to go in the game. Stonewall’s Haley Snell hit a bucket with 3:35 to go to cut the lead to 29-24.
After a free throw by Laramie Edens and a bucket by Taryn Wood, Latta led 32-24 with 2:00 left. Helms scored again with 51 seconds left to cut the lead to 32-26. Stonewall would score once more, but Latta hit four free throws down the stretch to preserve the 36-28 victory.
Latta was led in scoring by Henderson with nine points. She also had five rebounds. Parnacher chipped in seven points to go with her seven steals on the night.
Helms was the only player on either team to reach double digits with 10 points. Gipson had eight points for Stonewall as well as six rebounds.
Latta 66 Stonewall 40
Dakota Gore hit the first bucket of the game to give Stonewall an early 2-0 lead. Kade Hayes knocked down a three on the other end to put Latta up 3-2 just 30 seconds into the game. Gore would score again one minute later to give Stonewall its last lead of the game at 4-3.
Latta would then go on an 18-5 run to end the first period.The last bucket of the quarter was a 3-pointer by Trent Storts to put Latta up 21-9.
The Panthers pushed the lead to 23-9 on a bucket by Hayes and an assist by Jake Collins at the 6:55 mark. Stonewall’s Chase Findley was fouled and converted on a traditional three-point play to cut the lead to 23-12 with 6:40 left.
Over the next two minutes, Latta would stretch the lead to 30-12 off buckets by Hayes, Treston Tully and Storts. Findley would then score for Stonewall, and Gore would hit two free throws to cut the lead to 30-16 with 3:24 left in the half. Storts pushed the lead back to 16 before Stonewall scored two times to get back within 12 at 32-20 with 2:10 to go before halftime.
Storts was on fire, though, and nailed two consecutive threes to push the lead back to 38-20 with one minute left in the half.
Stonewall would not give up, as the Longhorns scored off a bucket by Rowdy Rodriquez and two free throws by Gore to cut the score to 38-24. However, Latta took the momentum to the locker room after Storts grabbed an offensive rebound and put up two more at the buzzer. The Panthers led 40-24 at the half. They had forced nine Stonewall turnovers and had shot 16-of-28 (57 percent) from the field. Storts had 19 of his game-high 22 points in the first half.
During the third, Latta padded the lead as the hosts outscored Stonewall 12-9.
The fourth quarter was more of the same, as the Panthers held a 14-7 scoring advantage. Latta pushed the lead to 20 at 57-37 off a 3-pointer by Jake Collins with 5:50 left in the game.
Through the last five minutes of the game, all of the players from both teams touched the floor.
Latta had three players reach double figures on the night. Storts, who hit eight of his 15 field goal attempts, also pulled down five rebounds and had four assists. Joining Storts in double figures was Jake Collins with 17 points on 7-of-9 (78 percent) shooting. He also brought down seven rebounds. Hayes added 10 points for the Panthers.
Gore led Stonewall with 19 points on 8-of-15 (53 percent) shooting. Chase Findley chipped in seven points and pulled down nine boards for the Longhorns.
Both teams will return to action on Jan. 4, when Latta hosts Dale and Stonewall hosts Allen.