STONEWALL – Hailey Baber rebounded a missed shot from teammate Kendra Hisaw and immediately hit a layup at the buzzer Friday night as the Latta Lady Panthers rallied for a pulsating 36-34 win over the host Stonewall Lady Longhorns.
Latta, 4-3 on the season, overcame poor shooting and put together a big fourth quarter, with 17 points, in capturing the victory inside the Murphy-Roberts Gymnasium.
Shelby Garrett tossed in 12 points, and pulled down seven rebounds, including five on the offensive end, and totaled three steals. Emma Epperly was next on the Lady Panther scoring chart with nine.
Alexis Chamberlain was dominant in the paint and poured in a game-high 20 points for Stonewall. Colby Sawyer was next with six.
Latta led 4-2 early and never got the lead again until the game’s end.
“We were down by eight at halftime and nine at the end of the third quarter, but we kept pressing and forcing turnovers,” said Latta head coach Bruce Plunk.
Epperly tied the game at 34-all with seven seconds to go. Stonewall tried a length-of-the-floor pass, but the ball sailed out of bounds. The Lady Panthers got the ball underneath their basket to set the stage for the heroic bucket by Baber at the buzzer.
The Lady Panthers are now idle until Dec. 28 when they take on Harrah in the Bertha Frank Teague Mid-America Classic at East Central University’s Kerr Activities Center. Tip-off is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. on opening night.
Latta 51, Stonewall 42
Adam Jordan tossed in 16 points, while Trent Smith and Elijah Factor added 10 apiece as the Panthers claimed the nine-point win.
Cayman Watkins fired in a game-leading 23 points for the Longhorns. Cameron Wade, behind two treys, finished with eight points in a losing cause.
Latta’s largest lead of the game was 17.
The next action for the Panthers will be at 12:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan.4 against Rock Creek in the Kingston New Year’s Classic.