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Basketball: Paradise holds off Nocona – Lady Panthers capture 8-3A opener

By Richard Greene | Published Saturday, December 17, 2016
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The Paradise Lady Panthers built a big first-half lead Tuesday night in their District 8-3A opener before having to fight off a furious fourth-quarter comeback by the Nocona Lady Indians.

The Lady Indians outscored Paradise 27-10 in the final frame, but Paradise held on for the 51-47 road victory.

“We were up 20 the whole game and played a great first half,” said Paradise coach Chad Woodard. “We were up 21 going into the fourth. Nocona made a big run and we were able to sneak out with the four-point win.

“It’s a tough district. On the road, it’s a big win for us.”

The victory started a tough three-game league stretch before the Christmas Break for the Lady Panthers. Paradise took on No. 17 Bowie at home Friday in a matchup of last year’s 9-3A co-champions. The Lady Panthers play host to rival Boyd Tuesday afternoon.

“Our non-district prepared us,” Woodard said. “We’ll find out who we are quick. Every game will be tough.”

Paradise held Nocona to just six first-quarter points in jumping out to an 18-6 lead. With Hunter Rogers draining a pair of 3-pointers in the second quarter, the Lady Panthers grew the lead to 35-14 at halftime.

April Coursey scored 10 of her team-high 12 in the first half.

After halftime, Paradise managed only one field goal – a basket from Kaycee Martin. Paradise led 41-20 going into the fourth quarter.

With Nocona making a big run, Paradise held it off at the free-throw line, going 10-for-14 at the stripe in the final frame. Maddie Mitschke hit seven free throws in the final eight minutes. She finished with nine points, 10 rebounds and five assists.

Martin finished with 11 points for Paradise.

Nocona’s Emma Meekins led all scorers with 25.

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