Lady Eagles grounded

Published 1:30 am Thursday, February 19, 2009

TROY – The J.F. Shields Panthers showed their undefeated record was no fluke.

J.F. Shields’ Ty’ka Robinson scored 31 points to help her team knock out Pleasant Home Wednesday at the South Regional basketball tournament in Troy, winning 69-43.

Robinson scored 26 points in the first half, most of them 3-pointers from considerably behind the college field goal line.

“When I came out there I was just focused on winning the game,” Robinson said. “I tried to hit every shot and when I didn’t have the shot I got back on defense.”

The Lady Panthers (28-0) put up 20 points compared to Pleasant Home’s 11 in the first quarter and then added an additional 17 in the second to the Lady Eagles’ nine.

From there, the Lady Panthers took off in the third putting up 21 points to Pleasant Home’s 10.

Pleasant Home managed to outscore Shields 13-11 in the fourth, its only winning quarter of the game.

“They were hot and I’m not sure if they missed a shot,” an emotional Pleasant Home coach Kelley Garner said. “They were just a lot quicker than us getting out on the floor. They had a height advantage on us and were hitting the boards.

“We knew they were going to shoot 3s and didn’t anticipate them being quite that hot,” she said. “We knew if we could prevent that first shot and get a chance to eliminate second chances and get an opportunity for the rebound, we could do all right. We just weren’t able to rebound with them.”

Shields coach Herbert Blackman said he was concerned with the lack of one player on his team in the first half.

“The only thing that concerned me tonight in the first half was our shooting guard (Kelsey Murphy),” Blackman said. “She had the flu but kept playing and playing.”

The leading scorers for Pleasant Home (22-5) were Erin Byrd with 13 points, Gina Davis with eight and Kayla Woods with seven. Byrd, Woods and Davis all had six rebounds apiece.

Garner said she was proud of her seniors despite the loss and that they are “winners.”

“I thought my seniors played hard,” she said. “Ariel (Gunter) got in foul trouble early and she just never really got in any kind of rhythm. Of course Erin (Byrd) played as hard as she could the whole game as she has done all year long.

“I am so proud of my seniors. They have carried us through this year. They have been excellent leaders. They have exemplified what a senior ball player should be.

“These girls are not losers. They’re winners in every aspect. They are winners in life and have learned a lot and that’s going to carry them a long way.”

For the Lady Panthers, Kelsey Murphy also hit double figures with 12 points.