KINGSTON — The Latta Lady Panthers limited Kingston to three points in the first quarter and three points in the fourth in a 38-25 win over the host Lady Redskins in the first round of the 2020 Kingston New Years Classic.
Latta, ranked No. 6 in Class 2A, improved to 10-2 on the year, while host Kingston — No. 18 in Class 3A — dropped to 4-6. Two of Kingston’s losses came in the 2019 Bertha Frank Teague Mid-America Classic, held last month in Ada.
Latta was solid against a Kingston full-court press most of the night, committing just 12 turnovers.
“We played great defense and handled their press most of the night,” said Latta girls coach Bruce Plunk.
The Lady Panthers led 9-3 after the first period and settled for an 18-13 lead at the break. Latta outscored Kingston 20-12 in the second half, including a 7-3 run in the fourth period.
Carson Dean led a balanced Latta offense with 10 points to go with eight rebounds and six assists. Hailey Baber and Chloe Brinlee added nine points apiece. Brinlee was credited with five rebounds.
“Carson and Hailey had big nights, and Chloe was steady,” Plunk said.
Caitlyn Bird, who moved to Latta from Vanoss in December of 2018, made her first varsity start for her new team. She scored just three points (on a 3-point shot), but Plunk was pleased with her contributions.
“Caitlyn did a solid job in her first start,” he said.
Kingston post player Avri Weeks, in just her second game back since suffering a torn ACL last season, led the KHS offense with nine points. Presley McKnight followed with eight points for the hosts.
Latta played Class 2A No. 2 Dale in a Friday night semifinal game. The Lady Panthers obliterated Rock Creek 67-18 in a first-round affair.