The Lady Panther Varsity Basketball team experienced disappointment in their away game against Wakefield the Plains last Friday. But even with a 27-49 loss, there were triumphant moments.
Rapp’s opponent was a team that demanded preparation. Wakefield the Plains currently ranks No. 8 in the state for Virginia Independent Schools Division II. As Coach Donald O’Meara said: “They are a very good team.”
The opening quarter of the contest showed Wakefield “beating us by 13-5 at the end of the first quarter.” The second quarter brought change on the court. “We outscored them 16-7 in the second quarter to take a one-point lead at half time,” O’Meara said. ‟The first half of the game was awesome.” The Lady Panthers played some of their best team ball and pushed a state-ranked team into a deficit.
After the half-time locker room enthusiasm, O’Meara lamented, “Wakefield turned up their defensive intensity and forced us into too many turnovers.” We were cold shooting and couldn’t score.”
For the first time this season, the celebratory highlights come from the eighth-grade players on the team. Shelby Thornhill, in a career and season high, earned 14 points and became the leading scorer in the game, for either team. Although her teammate and fellow eighth-grader Maddie Kopjanski only had two points in the books, Kopjanski tallied 15 rebounds. Upperclassman Megan Lee also added five points for the team.
Even with the loss, Coach O’Meara noted, “Wakefield’s leading scorer averages 14 points a game, but the Panthers held her to nine.”
The Ladies’ next game will at home tomorrow, 7:30 p.m. against East Hardy High School.