Lady Panthers begin campaign with victories against Mabank, Saltillo

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No. 17 Bullard Lady Panthers 62,

Mabank Lady Panthers 38, FINAL

MHS: 3 8 13 14 - 38

BHS: 20 17 11 14 - 62

The 2017-2018 Bullard Lady Panther varsity basketball squad, ranked 17th in the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches’ Class 4A pre-season poll, prowled their way into the new season last week, as the team hosted its season home-opening matchup inside Bullard High School’s Panther Gymnasium Tuesday, Nov. 7, against the visiting Mabank Panthers.

In the first quarter of the inaugural contest of the season, the home team Bullard wasted no time in persuading the game’s momentum to fall on their side, collecting a total of 20 points, compared to the three points of offensive production accumulated by Mabank’s offense.

Bullard continued to find success capitalizing on offensive opportunities against Mabank, adding 17 more points to their total in the second period, while limiting Mabank to just eight points. At the halftime intermission, the teams headed for the locker rooms with Bullard holding a 37-11 advantage over Mabank.

After returning to the hardwood for the second half of play, the visiting Mabank team was able to take the upper hand in the third quarter, as the team’s offense pounced ahead, outscoring the home team Bullard, 13-11.

In the final frame of the contest, the two Lady Panther teams were evenly matched up, with both offenses amassing 14 points each. At the final buzzer of the game, the Bullard squad used a strong early offensive push to claim their first victory of the season, defeating Mabank, 62-38.

Bullard was led to the victory in their home season-opener thanks to the strong play of junior guard Sydney Foster, collecting a team-high 20 points against Mabank.

Other significant contributors for Bullard against Mabank included freshman forward Bailey Smith, with 16 points, including four three-pointers; sophomore forward Erin Berry, with 12 points, including four three-pointers; sophomore forward Haley Day, with six points; senior center Allie Kirgan, with four points; sophomore guard Lamaria Thompson, with three points; and senior center Bailey Baker, with one point.

No. 17 Bullard Lady Panthers 51,

Saltillo Lady Lions 27, FINAL

SHS: 5 7 8 7 - 27

BHS: 9 19 12 11 - 51

Continuing their opening week of basketball action, the Bullard Lady Panther varsity basketball team remained at home, hosting their second contest of the season against the Saltillo Lady Lions Saturday, Nov. 11, inside the BHS gym.

In the first quarter, the home team Lady Panthers and visiting Lady Lions were caught up in a cat fight, as the teams battled to take control of the game’s flow of momentum. Bullard was able to hold the upper hand in the opening frame, scoring nine points, compared to Saltillo’s five points.

The Lady Panthers’ offensive production created separation in the scoring during the second quarter of play, prowling past the Lady Lions for 19 points, while using their defensive intensity to limit their opponent to just seven points.

At the halftime break, the teams headed for the locker rooms with Bullard holding a 28-12 advantage over Saltillo.

After returning to the court for the second half of action, Bullard continued to move the ball down the court efficiently against Saltillo in the third quarter, as the Lady Panthers tacked on 12 points to their score, compared to the Lady Lions’ eight points of offense.

In the fourth quarter, the home team Lady Panthers never let up their dominance, outscoring the visiting Lady Lions, 11-7, allowing Bullard to claim the victory over Saltillo, 51-27.

Berry was a strong presence for the Lady Panthers from beyond the three-point arc in the contest against the Lady Lions, scoring a total of 16 points, including four three-pointers.

Other significant contributors for the Lady Panthers against the Lady Lions included Foster, with 12 points, including three three-pointers; Day, with seven points; sophomore guard Hailey Minton, with six points, including two three-pointers; Thompson, with five points; and Kirgan, with five points.

The Bullard Lady Panther varsity basketball team has begun the 2017-2018 regular season with a 2-0 overall record.

Barry Gill, head coach of the Lady Panthers, said he believes his team’s pre-season ranking from TABC represents the toughness of the team’s schedule, as well as the number of quality athletes produced by the program, in recent years.

“I feel like it’s a testament to our body of work over the years,” said Gill. “We’ve been blessed to coach good kids who were and are bought in to our way of doing things and the results have shown that. We are a very young team this year and we will work hard to be the best team that we can be.”

Next game: Thursday and Saturday, Nov. 16 and 18 – Bullard Lady Panthers at Saltillo Lady Lions tournament.

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