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Panthers bitten by ’Yotes at buzzer

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Mabank falls to Anna on final shot at home

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MABANK–The Mabank Panthers suffered their first loss of the season on a three-point shot at the buzzer as they fell to the Anna Coyotes Dec. 2 at home.
The Panthers got the first two points of the contest courtesy of a layup by Connor Smith.
After the Coyotes got the next three points, Cade Bell knocked down a three-pointer for the Panthers to put them back in front 5-3.
Bell capped off an 8-3 run with another layup as Mabank increased their lead to 13-6, forcing an Anna timeout.
Bell ended the first quarter with a three-point shot as the Panthers took an 18-11 lead into the second quarter.
The two teams played evenly to begin the second quarter as Mabank started with a 5-4 run as they led 23-15.
A pass from Devyn Gibbs to Bell increased the Panthers lead to 30-19. Bell ended the first half with a three-point shot at the buzzer to give Mabank a 35-25 lead at halftime.
Bell opened the third quarter the same way with a three-pointer to increase Mabank’s lead to 38-25.
A short shot from Gibbs over the head of an Anna defender made it a 42-25 game before the Coyotes ended the quarter on a 9-0 run to make it 42-34 entering the fourth quarter.
Gibbs began the fourth quarter with an offensive rebound, which he passed to Smith, who knocked down a three-pinter to make it 45-34.
An 11-0 run by the Coyotes put the Panthers on their heels as Anna tied the game with 2:47 remaining in regulation.
The Panthers and Coyotes traded shots late as Bell hit a three-pointer to put Mabank up 49-47 before the Coyotes returned the favor to move in front 50-49.
After a late intentional foul by Mabank, Anna only hit one of the free throws as the Panthers trailed 51-49 late.
Bell drove the lane for the Panthers and drew a foul with under 10 seconds remaining in the game. Needing to hit both shots to tie the game, Bell sank both free throws to make it 51-51.
Anna inbounded the ball and took a timeout with three seconds remaining. The Coyotes took their inbound pass from the right side of the court out of the timeout as they hit a three-pointer at the buzzer to win the game 54-51.
The Panthers were led by Bell, who notched 25 points in the loss to the Coyotes.
Smith added 10 points, Gibbs had seven points and Caleb Goforth added the final two points for the Panthers.
The loss drops the Panthers to 2-1 on the season. Mabank returns to the court Thursday, Dec. 5 as they take part in the varsity tournament at Athens High School, which runs through Dec. 7.