The Palmyra girls basketball team went cold Thursday during a 52-45 loss to top-seeded Clark County in a Class 3 District 8 semifinal.
Megan Stone hoisted up a shot from the right wing with 5 minutes, 21 seconds left in the third quarter. The ball went halfway down before rolling around and out of the cylinder.
Instead of a tie game, Palmyra still trailed Clark County 31-28.
The shot symbolized the Lady Panthers luck the entire game in their 52-45 season-ending loss to the top-seeded Lady Indians in a Class 3 District 8 semifinal game Thursday night.
Palmyra missed 13 consecutive shots in the third period.
“We just could not get that basket we needed,” Lady Panthers coach Chris Parsons said. “There were three or four shots I thought were going in. We just could not get over the hump to get even or take the lead to put more pressure on them.”
Clark County coach John Weaver mentioned the defensive stops his team came up with made the difference in the game, especially late in the third quarter and early in the fourth.
“Those stops were huge,” the Lady Indians coach stated. “If they would have pulled even or taken the lead, it would have been a different game. It would have made it tougher on us mentally and physically as we were battling foul trouble. So those stops and rebounds were big.”
Robby Meyers knocked down the only 3-pointer of the night for the Lady Panthers with just over a minute left in the third. The shot pulled Palmyra to within 35-33 heading into the final period.
Buckets from Audrey Fohey and Stone pulled the Lady Panthers back to within two points on two separate occasions in the fourth, but they could not close the deal.
Clarence Cannon Conference Player of the Year Carissa Bevans knocked down a pair of buckets, and fellow senior Maggie Schutte made a drive to help the Lady Indians pull away late.
“Their experience really showed tonight, especially late in the game,” Parsons said of the Clark County seniors. “They had girls who stepped up and put them on their backs. Especially Bevans, she made some great moves there in the fourth quarter.”
Bevans finished with a team-high 14 points in the win.
Clark County connected on 7 of 9 free throws in the final 69 seconds to secure the victory.
The Lady Indians led 17-9 after the first eight minutes of play and had two separate leads of nine points in the first half.
Aubry Boulware drained a trio of 3-pointers in the first half to spark the Lady Indians offense.
"That’s on me,” Parsons said. “We guarded exactly the way we wanted to by doubling the post. Boulware just got hot and hit some early threes, which gave them the lead they wanted.”
But Palmyra would not go away. Stone turned a steal into an old-fashioned three-point play midway through the second period to get the Lady Panthers back on track.
Stone then connected on a jumper in the final seconds of the half as Palmyra closed to within 29-24 at the break.
Parsons mentioned he was proud of the fight and defensive effort his young team played with Thursday night.
“We executed every part of the defensive plan we could have other than giving up a couple rebounds,” the Lady Panthers coach said. “We just couldn’t get the shots to fall. But I am proud of the girls for going down fighting.”
Parsons also lauded the performance by Fohey.
The junior post player scored a game-high 23 points in the loss.
“Really proud of Audrey tonight,” Parsons said. “I thought she let them push her around the last time we played them. But she stepped up and got right into them and finished around the bucket tonight. Credit to her, that was a step of growth for her. She is going to be dominant as a senior.”
Stone added 11 points and three steals.
Palmyra finished the game 1-for-12 from the 3-point arc.
Clark County advances to the district championship game against CCC foe Monroe City on Saturday afternoon.
“It was a grind and tonight’s game took a lot out of us tonight,” Weaver said. “But you can’t expect anything less this time of year. Everyone wants to move on. Tonight we had a very good defensive effort and just found a way to win.”