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Pantherette Macy Richardson dribbles the ball upcourt against Gilmer.

The North Lamar Pantherettes basketball team fought until the bitter end Tuesday, but it wasn’t to be, as they lost 54-30.

The Lady Buckeyes jumped out to a big early lead with intense ball pressure, and by the end of the first quarter, they held a 19-5 lead.

North Lamar found some solid offense in the second quarter by way of sophomore Maddie Walters and junior Hutton Pointer. Pointer used her size and strong post moves to make an impact on the low block, and Walters’ speed helped her blow by Gilmer defenders.

Though the Pantherette offense found its footing a bit in the second half, they weren’t able to cut into the Gilmer lead, as Gilmer used back door cuts to great effect, growing its lead to 37-16.

“We need to learn to score as effectively as the teams that have a strong inside-outside presence do,” Pantherette head coach Taqoya Monds said. “At the end of the day, we can’t stop every guard from penetrating, kicking it out and then pick-and-rolls. We’ve got to get better at doing those same things so we can go neck-and-neck.”

Though Gilmer kept an iron-clad grip on the game until the very end, the Pantherettes never backed down and kept fighting until the end, exemplified by a 3-pointer to beat the fourth quarter buzzer by senior Emma Fowler.

“That shot totally exemplifies what we’re about,” Monds said. “We’re going to fight until the very end, no matter what the score is. And that’s what we did today.”

Tommy Culkin is sports editor for The Paris News. He can be reached at 903-785-6972 or at tommy.culkin@theparisnews.com.

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