MABANK–The Mabank Lady Panthers won their first game of the season after a strong fourth-quarter effort against the Kaufman Lady Lions Nov. 4 at home.
Both teams came out defensively-minded as the Lady Lions were the first ones to score 3:08 into the first quarter to take a 2-0 lead.
The Lady Panthers finally got on the board with 1:57 remaining in the first quarter to tie the game 2-2.
The Lady Lions then went on a 5-0 run to take a 7-2 lead before Laurent Carter hit two free throws to cut the deficit to 7-4. Mabank entered the second quarter trailing 7-6 after ending on a 4-0 run.
The Lady Panthers were held to passing in the second quarter as the Kaufman defense kept Mabank to the perimeter, not allowing any lanes to the basket.
Brianna Martin finally connected on a pass to Madison Reneau to cut the deficit to 10-8 with 3:03 remaining in the first half.
The second quarter ended with a single free throw from Carley Sapp and two from Drew Neighbors as Mabank trailed 14-11 entering halftime.
An early shot from Neighbors cut the deficit to 16-13, but a 5-0 run by Kaufman made it a 21-13 game in favor of the Lady Lions.
The third quarter ended with a free throw and a layup from Martin and a short jump shot from Neighbors to make it a 21-18 game entering the final eight minutes.
An early rebound by Carter on a missed Mabank shot cut the deficit to 21-20.
After a free throw by the Lady Lions, Martin tied the game on a layup.
Trailing 24-23, Martin forced a turnover as she stole the ball from Kaufman and picked up the layup to put the Lady Panthers ahead 25-24 for the first time in the game.
The game ended with two successful free throws from Carter to seal the victory for the Lady Panthers 33-28.
The Lady Panthers were led by Carter, who finished with nine points, four rebounds and two steals in the victory.
Carter was followed by Martin who had eight points, two rebounds and two steals.
Neighbors added six points and five steals while Jasmine Turner finished with five points in the win over Kaufman.
The Lady Panthers hit the road Dec. 11 against Midlothian Heritage with tipoff set for 5 p.m.