Gorman stops Slidell, knocks Lady Hounds out in regional semifinal

By Reece Waddell | Published Friday, February 23, 2018.
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The Slidell Lady Hounds were one win away from a rematch with Dodd City in the Class A Region III regional final.

The only thing standing in their way was Gorman — and a problematic 1-2-2 zone.

Using their length and athleticism on the perimeter, the Lady Panthers jumped passing lanes all night, as Slidell failed to get into any rhythm offensively. Unable to crack Gorman’s defense, the Lady Hounds fell Friday night in the Class A Region III regional semifinal at Mansfield 43-29.

“They’re just more athletic than we are,” said Slidell coach Lance Shelton. “Their athleticism caused us problems. We turned the ball over I think 12 times in the first half. You can’t turn the ball over like that or give up rebounds like that and expect to win many games.”

Slidell was manhandled on the glass, getting out-rebounded on both the offensive and defensive end. At one point in the first half, Gorman corralled three offensive rebounds in one possession.

The Lady Panthers also only made one 3-pointer, with all of their points coming in the paint or at the free throw line.

“They only made one true outside shot,” Shelton said. “Everything else was probably in the paint or from rebounding and them penetrating the lane. If I did a shot chart, they’re all about one foot away and all makes. So yeah, that’s a big deal.”

The Lady Hounds got off to a fast start, with junior Bailey Meyer hitting two first quarter 3s. Slidell led for most of the first quarter before Gorman went on an 8-0 run to seize control of the game.

Fueled by turnovers, the Lady Panthers intercepted multiple passes the Lady Hounds forced into the teeth of their zone.

“The middle was wide open, we were just trying to get it over them instead of go through them with bounce passes,” Meyer said. “That’s what killed us. We had several turnovers they scored off of. Then they got ahead, and it just went downhill from there.”

After scoring 12 points in the first quarter, Slidell was held to just 17 points the rest of the game. The Lady Hounds opened the second half with a scoring drought of nearly five minutes before Cate Zuniga stopped the bleeding with a bank shot off the glass.

Meyer led Slidell in scoring with 10 and was their only player to finish in double figures. Zuniga added nine and Jayden Ellison tossed in eight. Gorman was led by Kelsie Guthery, who scored a game-high 25 points.

Slidell finished the season 26-7 overall, going undefeated in District 21-A. The Lady Hounds also claimed their second consecutive district, bi-district and area title this year. Entering the regional semifinal Friday, Slidell had not lost a game in nearly two months.

“I am beyond proud of my team,” Meyer said. “Not the outcome I wanted, but we fought until the last buzzer, and that’s all I can ask from my team.”

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