The Palmyra girls basketball team scored the first 19 points of the third quarter in a 61-41 win at Hannibal on Tuesday night.
The Palmyra girls basketball team came out of the locker room for the second half looking like a completely different squad Tuesday night.
Hannibal held a 27-16 advantage at the break.
But the second half belonged to the Lady Panthers.
Palmyra outscored the Lady Pirates 28-2 in the third period en route to a 61-41 non-conference win inside Korf Gymnasium.
Palmyra coach Chris Parsons explained the difference between the two halves.
“We were extremely soft in the first half,” the Lady Panthers coach said. “I just challenged them to play physical and play with intensity.”
Palmyra used its defense to spark the offense in the third.
The Lady Panthers defense forced Hannibal into 10 turnovers in the third period.
“Coach told us we needed to come out and play better defense in the second half,” Palmyra sophomore Bailey Lovelace said. “We did not come out with much energy in the first half. But in the second half, we started to play defense with the sense of urgency we needed to and got our hands on a lot of balls, which led to some easy baskets.”
Hannibal coach Ben Jamerson mentioned his team knew Palmyra would come out ready to play in the final 16 minutes of play.
“Turning the ball over is something you never want to do when you have a lead like we did,” the Lady Pirates coach stated. “I think a lack of energy may have led to some of them, but we knew Palmyra would come out and pressure us in the second half. We were prepared, it’s just something we could not battle through.”
After missing 22 of 27 shots in the first half, Palmyra scored the first 19 points of the third period.
“A lot of us were not hitting our shots in the first half like we normally do,” Lovelace said. “But those shots started to fall in the second half and it gave us more confidence with the more shots we were making.”
Audrey Fohey scored nine of her game-high 17 points in the third period.
Palmyra made good on 13 of its 20 shots in the third, as it carried a 44-29 lead into the final eight minutes.
“It was mentally draining for us,” Jamerson said of Palmyra's shooting. “When you see them hitting shots and your shot is not falling, it takes a toll on you mentally.”
Emma Deien knocked down a 3-pointer with 5 minutes, 38 seconds left in the game to pull the Lady Pirates to within 46-36, but Hannibal could draw no closer.
Fohey scored on back-to-back possessions before Megan Stone drilled the Lady Panthers lone 3-pointer of the night to put the game away.
Stone added 13 points in the win, while Lovelace (8), Sadi Kite (8) and Robby Meyers (6) combined for 22 points.
Deien tallied nine of her team-high 15 points in the first half.
Hannibal led 16-10 after the first eight minutes of play before the 11-point lead at the half.
“I told the girls that was probably the best half of basketball I have seen from a Hannibal girls basketball team,” Jamerson said. “We just could not sustain it in the second half.”
Deien picked up her fourth foul with six minutes left in the third period.
Palmyra improves to 15-9 on the season, while Hannibal falls to 6-14.