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Lady Panthers fail to pass Sunnyvale

By Richard Greene | Published Wednesday, February 19, 2014

The Paradise Lady Panthers took their best shot, but couldn’t knock off Class 2A’s top-ranked team Friday.

Sunnyvale held off Paradise 49-41 Friday in the Class 2A Region II area-round matchup at Prosper High School.

The loss ended Paradise’s season at 25-7. But this year’s team ended a 14-year drought, securing its first playoff win last week over Godley.

“It’s always disappointing when you lose, but when we look back they are going to proud of what they’ve accomplished,” said Paradise coach Kevin Pope.

It was the final game for Paradise’s three seniors – Makenna Burt, Makala Neighbors and Madeline Runnels.

“Those three seniors provided leadership,” Pope said. “They were playing for their third coach in four years. They did a great job of leading and buying in to what we were trying to do. I can’t say enough about them.”

Paradise hung with undefeated Sunnyvale the entire night. The game was tied at 8 after one. The two teams traded the lead in the second until Sunnyvale took a 23-21 advantage into the break.

Sunnyvale went on an 11-6 run in the third to finally get some breathing room at 34-27.

“We didn’t have a good third quarter,” Pope said.

Paradise made one last run, getting within six with the ball and two minutes left.

“We had an open look at a 3 and couldn’t get it to go down,” Pope said.

Sunnyvale iced the game at the free-throw line. For the game, Sunnyvale hit 17 free throws.

Paradise only made seven shots at the free-throw line.

“We outscored them from the field,” Pope said. “They shot better at the free-throw line.”

Neighbors led Paradise with 18 points. Courtney Kerr dropped in eight. Burt and Shelby Bradshaw put in four apiece.

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