SPORTS HEADLINES

Jacksboro fends off Paradise

By Reece Waddell | Published Tuesday, February 6, 2018.
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The Paradise Lady Panthers had their backs against the wall.

With 4:31 left in the third quarter, Maddie Mitschke — the team’s leading scorer and rebounder — picked up her fourth foul and was forced to sit down. Paradise trailed by 19 at 36-17 and had gone ice cold from the field.

Desperately trying to force a tiebreaker with Nocona on Friday for third place in District 8-3A, the Lady Panthers outscored Jacksboro 16-7 to end the third quarter. They cut the deficit to 10 on a Kaycee Martin buzzer-beater, but that was as close as they came.

Unable to maintain any momentum, the Tigerettes matched each Paradise run with one of their own, downing the Lady Panthers 56-43 to end the regular season.

“Every time we hit a big 3 they had an answer,” said Paradise coach Chad Woodard. “We couldn’t pull away because of their big answers.”

Paradise finished the season 8-6 in district play with the loss and will enter the playoffs as the No. 4 seed from District 8-3A. The Lady Panthers will play Brock either Monday or Tuesday of next week at a location to be determined. Woodard said he would rather play on Monday, and the game could be at Saginaw or Chisholm Trail High School.

Brock knocked Paradise out of the playoffs in the bi-district round last year, beating the Lady Panthers 48-38.

“Brock has a new coach. They do things differently,” Woodard said of the matchup. “They have a mental edge on us, but I think it’s our turn.”

Hunter Rogers was the only Paradise player to finish in double figures, leading the Lady Panthers in scoring with 12. Mitschke finished second with eight, with all of her points coming at the charity stripe.

For Jacksboro, the Tigerettes dominated the paint all night behind a 15-point effort from 6’0 post Baylee Thompson. The Lady Panthers played a zone most of the game to try and limit her, but Paradise could not keep Thompson off the glass. Thompson also altered several shots and caused the Lady Panthers to miss multiple easy baskets around the rim.

“We missed five, six, seven, eight layups that cost us,” Woodard said, “[We ran] our offense very well, but it doesn’t look like it because [we didn’t] make those buckets that have to be made down low on the block. We’re worried about getting a shot blocked.”

Although they could not come away with the win, Woodard said he was pleased with how Paradise played when Mitschke was out of the game in foul trouble. The Lady Panthers nearly cut the lead to single digits with her on the bench for almost a full quarter.

“I thought we made a great run with [Mitschke] on the bench,” Woodard said. “And that shows me a lot going forward to Brock. That shows me ‘hey, we’ll step up for you.’”

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