The Louisiana Bulldogs defeated the Palmyra Panthers 68-52 on Thursday night in the Monroe City Tournament semifinals.

WHAT HAPPENED 

The Louisiana Bulldogs defeated the Palmyra Panthers 68-52 on Thursday night in the Monroe City Tournament semifinals. 

THE TURNING POINT 

The contest was knotted at 32 early in the third quarter before back-to-back Palmyra turnovers turned into easy points for Louisiana, who took the lead and never gave it up.

Ragar McKinney and Peyton Plunkett nailed back-to-back 3-pointers for the Panthers to cut the Bulldogs' lead to 45-42 with 2:06 remaining in the third.

Louisiana, though, outscored Palmyra 18-10 in the fourth. Derek Richards hit a trey to put the Bulldogs ahead by 11 with five minutes remaining to help seal the victory. 

WHAT THEY ARE SAYING 

“That's a very good passing team, and they've got a couple real nice shooters, and they capitalized,” Palmyra coach Ryan Wood said of Louisiana. “We told ourselves going in we were going to rely on help, but our help was a little bit late at times. Good team, tough loss for us, but at the same time, I'm seeing improvement.”

STAT LEADERS

Senior Casch Doyle led Palmyra with a game-high 28 points, while Peyton Plunkett contributed 11. 

For Louisiana, Richards netted 24 points. Senior PJ Francis scored 14, and Abricion Ivey finished with 12. 

BITS AND PIECES

• While seven Panthers scored, Doyle's 28 for Palmyra was 54 percent of his team's total points.

• Louisiana's Richards and Francis combined to knock down five 3-pointers. Palmyra only had one, which came from Plunkett in the third quarter. 

• Four players finished the contest with four fouls, but none reached the limit.

WHAT'S NEXT 

Palmyra will face South Shelby at 5 p.m. on Saturday for third place in the Monroe City Tournament. 

Louisiana plays Monroe City at 8 p.m. on Saturday for the tournament championship.