A furious Latta Lady Panther comeback bid in the final minute of the game fell just short in a 31-27 loss to Silo in a battle of two of the top teams in Class 2A Tuesday night inside the Latta Panther Fieldhouse.
No. 3 Latta, which had topped Silo 35-34 three days earlier in the finals of the 2020 Kingston New Years Classic, saw its 11-game winning streak come to an end, falling to 12-3.
The second-ranked Lady Rebels improved to 13-1.
“We didn’t execute very well tonight. And we didn’t finish at the free-throw line,” said Latta head coach Bruce Plunk, who saw his team miss six free throws in the contest (3-of-9). “We’ll get better and learn from it. This shows we have a lot of improvement to do. But we have a lot of good ahead of us too.”
In the boys game, the Panthers used a big second quarter to gain some breathing room and socked Silo 42-29.
The Panthers, who owned a 31-20 victory over the Rebels last Friday in consolation play at the Kingston tournament, climbed back over .500 at 8-7. Silo left town at 4-9.
Silo 31, Latta 27
After Cassidy Harman hit a free throw with 1:02 left, Silo had forged a 27-20 lead.
The Lady Panthers kept fighting.
Sophomore Jaylee Willis got a steal, hit a layup, was fouled and converted the three-point play with 46.1 seconds left to get the Lady Panthers within 27-23.
After another Silo turnover, Chloe Brinlee hit a short jumper after a nice pass from Hailey Baber that trimmed the SHS lead to 27-25 with 35.4 ticks remaining.
An unforced Silo turnover gave Latta a chance to tie, but that opportunity was squashed after a steal by freshman Bradi Harman. She was fouled and hit two big free throws for the Lady Rebels to make it 29-26 with 22.62 seconds showing on the clock.
Latta hurried the ball down the court and got a basket in transition by Taryn Batterton to again get within two at 29-27 with 14 seconds remaining.
But Latta couldn’t catch a Silo player to foul until sending Cassidy Harman to the line with just 1.9 seconds left. She sank both free throws — Silo went 10-of-12 from the line in the fourth quarter — to seal the outcome.
Latta led 12-8 after a low-scoring first half, thanks in part to posting a second-quarter shutout. However, the Lady Rebels turned the tables in the third period.
Silo used a 9-0 run to start the third quarter and after two free throws by Cassidy Harman at the 5:05 mark, the visitors led 17-12. The Lady Rebels went on to outscore Latta 13-5 in the frame and carried a 21-17 lead into the fourth quarter.
“I’ll take credit for that. I probably should have done something different when they made their little run — called time out or made a substitution. That’s on me there,” Plunk said.
Silo freshman standout Tiani Ellison had a big game with 11 points, 11 rebounds, two steals and four blocked shots. Cassity Harman went 5-of-6 from the free-throw line and scored seven points, while Bradi Harman and Teeronie McCann added six points each.
Latta got eight points from Batterton and six points from Willis off the bench. Willis hit a big 3-pointer early in the fourth quarter to keep the Lady Panthers within striking distance — off the bench.
Silo out-rebounded Latta 33-25.
Latta 42, Silo 29
The Latta Panthers took care of the ball in taking care of Silo.
Latta committed a season-low seven turnovers, while coming up with 15 steals that helped force 21 Silo turnovers.
After a rugged first quarter (Latta led 6-4), the Panthers used a 15-6 run in the second to build a 21-10 halftime advantage.
The Rebels opened the third quarter with back-to-back 3-pointers from Connor Cordell and Luke aJestis to get within 21-16, but the Panthers then scored eight straight points.
Bryce Ireland started the run with two free throws, and Hyatt Hoppe scored in transition following a steal by Rylan Schlup.
Lane Garrett then got a steal and hit a nice shot off the glass, and Hoppe capped the run with another swipe and layup to push the LHS advantage to 29-16.
The Rebels got no closer than nine the rest of the way.
Garrett paced the LHS offense with 14 points to go with four steals, while Bryce Ireland and Hoppe added nine points apiece. Ireland also had three rebounds, two steals and two blocks.
Silo senior Luke Jestis scored a game-high 15 points off the bench, including a trio of 3-point baskets.
Latta hosts Okemah Friday night. The Okemah girls are ranked No. 15 in Class 2A, and the Okemah boys are sitting in the No. 8 spot.