Basketball: Lady Panthers sweep Boyd

By Reece Waddell | Published Saturday, January 27, 2018
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The Paradise Lady Panthers and Boyd Lady Jackets entered Tuesday’s rivalry matchup with plenty at stake.

KNOCKED OUT – Paradise’s Hunter Rogers shoots a runner in the lane against Boyd. The Lady Panthers eliminated the Lady Jackets from playoff contention with the win. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

On a three-game losing skid, the Lady Panthers risked falling out of the playoff picture with a loss to the rival Lady Jackets. Needing to keep pace with Holliday, Paradise found themselves tied with Boyd at halftime.

Desperate for a spark, the Lady Panthers turned to Kaycee Martin and Maddie Mitschke, who took the game over on both ends of the floor. Behind Martin’s streaky shooting and Mitschke’s ability to clean the glass, Paradise edged Boyd 42-33 to stay in the thick of the 8-3A playoff hunt.

“We had to have this one,” said Paradise coach Chad Woodard. “I didn’t want to call it a must-win, but it was. Boyd came ready to play. It’s a rivalry game. Coach [Erica] Warner had them ready. [Paytin] Bullard is a player. But I’m going to take my team in big moments.”

Paradise moved to 16-10 on the season and 6-4 in district. The Lady Panthers are tied for third with Nocona. Both are a game ahead of Holliday, who is 5-5. Paradise and Holliday play Feb. 2 in Holliday.

The loss dropped Boyd to 6-19 and 2-8 in district. Paradise knocked Boyd out of playoff contention with the sweep of the season series.

“You have no idea, we wanted to beat them really bad,” Mitschke said.

Martin led Paradise in scoring with 14 points, knocking down two clutch 3-pointers. Mitschke finished two assists shy of a triple-double with 12 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists.

The Lady Jackets were unable to keep Mitschke off the boards all night, as she came down with several timely rebounds that resulted in second and third chances. With under two minutes left in the fourth, Mitschke corralled a missed shot and made a layup in traffic to put Paradise up seven and seal the victory.

“She’s got a knack for rebounding,” Woodard said. “She knows how to get to the ball. She puts her mind to it, and she really does a good job of owning the boards.”

Meanwhile, Boyd guard Paytin Bullard finished with a game-high 22 points. Bullard scored nine of the Lady Jackets’ 11 points in the second half, but it was not enough for Boyd.

“We did really good as a team, and we finished together,” Mitschke said. “We’ve been having trouble finishing four [quarters], and we did it today.”

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