Todd Central comes from 18 down to edge Lady Panthers in All A
By Jim Turner

Posted on January 22, 2019 9:19 PM

The Todd Central Lady Rebels refused to consider themselves beaten in the semifinals of the Fourth Region All A Classic Wednesday on their homecourt. Trailing 16-5 after a quarter and 28-18 at the half, Coach Travis Lovan’s team came back to beat short-handed Russellville 52-50 to advance to the finals.

Coach Cameron Jackson’s team was short-handed for two contrasting reasons: too few players and too many fouls.

Eighth grade starting point guard Amiyah Collier and reserve Jordin Morris were attending the state middle school Beta Club convention and key reserve Jaylah Kees was sick at home, leaving RHS with just nine players in uniform.

Meanwhile the officials were able and willing—to spot fouls on the Lady Panthers and to call them in abundance.

While sharpshooter Chloe Whitescarver was filling the nets from long range, her Lady Panther teammates were piling up personals. While Whitescarver was hitting four of five 3-point attempts in the first quarter, whistles were blowing on the other end. With about three minutes remaining in the third quarter, Jayce Buchner, Anastasia Dowlen and Deshala LeBlanc all had four fouls. Early in the fourth quarter, Whitescarver joined them with four.

In the early part of the second quarter, Brooklyn Ray had played a big role for the Lady Panthers by hitting three shots and drawing a charge. She finished with eight points. Buchner’s goal gave RHS its biggest lead at 26-8.

Amy Brumfield started the home team’s comeback by hitting two quick 3-pointers late in the half. Even though Whitescarver scored on a rebound shot, Shelby Johnson cut the Lady Panther lead to 10 at the intermission.

A goal by Brinley Mason and a free throw by Whitescarver on Kinley Reding’s fourth foul made the Russellville lead 36-31, but Paige Rager hit a 3-pointer to end the quarter and another from long range to rhsstart the fourth. When Brumfield hit a pair of treys a couple of minutes later, Todd led 42-36.

The Lady Panthers responded by hitting back-to-back 3-pointers themselves. LeBlanc sank the first one, followed by Whitescarver’s fifth trey. That made the score 42-42 with 5:10 remaining. Whitescarver finished with 18 points while hitting 5 of 7 from long range and 6 of 9 overall.

Todd took the lead back, but LeBlanc tied it again on a layup. The Lady Panthers went up 46-44 when LeBlanc scored on an assist by Buchner. Brumfield’s goal with 1:13 produced a tie that would still be on the scoreboard when regulation ended.

RHS had a chance to win in regulation when Dowlen was fouled after a near-assist from Buchner. Dowlen missed both free throws. In fact, the Lady Panthers lost the game at the line, hitting just 7 of 22 free throws.

The last Lady Panther lead came at 50-49 on a 12-footer by Buchner with a minute to go. She scored all four of the RHS points in overtime. Jasmine Mimms tied it on a free throw resulting from Whitescarver’s fifth foul with 11 seconds remaining.

Buchner took the ball upcourt and a collision stopped play. On a controversial call, Buchner was charged with a charge. That was not only fifth foul but she was also assessed a technical for responding to a Lady Rebel’s taunt, she later explained. Rager hit the winning free throw on the technical.

Whitescarver finished with 18 points and LeBlanc 12. Rager, who hit four 3-pointers, finished with a game-high 19 points for the winners. Brumfield added 14 points and Mimms 10. The Lady Rebels hit 14 of 22 free throws and added seven 3-pointers.

The Lady Rebels were beaten decisively by a very good Metcalfe team in the finals.

Russellville’s Whitescarver and LeBlanc were named to the all-tournament team, and Buchner was honored for having the top grade point average on the Lady Panthers team.

This was Todd Central’s first district win in four starts and Russellville fell to 2-2, but this game does not count toward district seeding because it was in a tournament.  Logan leads the district at 4-0 in games that count. Russellville is 2-1, Franklin-Simpson 1-3 and Todd 0-3.

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