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Latta girls use third-quarter surge to knock off Allen

Feb. 1—LATTA — The Allen and Latta girl's basketball teams were involved in a low-scoring, slugfest through the first two-quarters of the matchup between the two local rivals Tuesday night inside the Latta Panther Fieldhouse.

The Lady Panthers led just 17-15 at halftime.

However, Latta opened the third period on a game-changing 12-2 surge en route to a 45-36 win over the Lady Mustangs before a vocal crowd inside the packed gymnasium.

Latta, ranked No. 18 in Class 2A, improved to 13-8 on the year while Allen — No. 5 in Class A — lost for only the second time this season, falling to 18-2. Allen's only other loss was to another ranked 2A club — No. 6 Vanoss.

Latta head coach Clay Plunk said his team just simply stayed the course during its huge start to the third quarter.

"Our girls answered the call. I think the girls just stuck with what we were doing. We defended really hard," Plunk told The Ada News. "Every time they hit a shot, we came out and hit a shot. It was a good win for us."

Latta is on the road Friday at Tishomingo, while Allen is set to host Pontotoc Conference foe Stonewall Friday night.

Latta 45, Allen 36

The two teams exchanged blows throughout the entire first half which featured four ties and three lead changes. The gap never got more than three points for either team during the first two periods.

In the second quarter, Latta outscored Allen 5-4 and held a slim 17-15 lead at the break.

"We didn't score well in the second quarter, but defensively we stayed locked in and only gave up four. If you're not scoring, you better make sure you're playing good defense."

After Cherish Woodward scored on a contested basket inside the paint that got Allen within 19-17, the Lady Panthers scored the next 10 points.

Sophomore Paislee Anderson keyed the LHS spurt by drilling a pair of 3-pointers to help give her team a little breathing room. She finished the game going 3-of-4 from beyond the arc and scored 12 points.

"Paislee shot the ball really well tonight," Plunk said. "She kind of got thrown into the fire last year as a freshman. She's just grown up. and it's not just scoring — defensively, toughness. She's ready to fill her role when we need her too and she did a really good job tonight."

Latta led 33-24 after outscoring Allen 16-9 in the third period, and the Lady Mustangs never got closer than nine the rest of the way.

Latta freshman Jayse Smith turned in another all-around solid outing. She finished with 17 points, six rebounds and three steals. Her backcourt mate, Kelby Parnacher, added seven points and five rebounds.

Jakobi Worcester contributed six points and seven rebounds for the home team.

Kaylee Davis led the Allen offense with 15 points. She buried a trio of 3-point shots and also had four steals. Both Woodward and Ava Laden scored eight points apiece for the Lady Mustangs.

Allen sank 10-of-12 free throws in the contest, while Latta finished 9-of-17 from the line.

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By The Numbers

Tuesday, Jan. 30

GIRLS

At Latta

Latta 45, Allen 36

ALLEN 11 4 9 12 — 36

LATTA 12 5 16 12 — 45

ALLEN: Kaylee Davis 5-14, 2-2, 15; Ava Laden 3-6, 1-2, 8; Cherish Woodward 2-10, 4-4, 8; Stoney Cully 1-4, 3-4, 5. Totals: 18-38, 10-12, 36.

LATTA: Jayse Smith 6-11, 4-5, 17; Paislee Anderson 4-6, 1-2, 12; Kelby Parnacher 3-7, 1-2, 7; Jakobi Worcester 3-5, 0-2, 6; Kailey Rudd 0-1, 2-2, 2; Kate Williams 0-3, 1-3, 1. Totals: 16-36, 9-17, 45.

Turnovers: Allen 16, Latta 15.

Steals: Allen 7 (Davis 4); Latta 9 (Smith 3).

Rebounds: Allen 26 (Laden 6, Woodward 6); Latta 31 (Worcester 7, Smith 6).

3-point goals: Allen 4-16 (Davis 3-8, Laden 1-4); Latta 4-10 (Anderson 3-4, Smith 1-3),

Fouled out: None.