Lady Panthers fall to Edwardsville, defeat East St. Louis


The Lady Panthers celebrated Senior Night at last Tuesday’s home game against Edwardsville.
(O’Fallon Weekly Photo by Alex Gruberman)

O’FALLON – The Lady Panthers season came to end this week as they squared off against Edwardsville last Tuesday night at the Panther Dome and finishing their season on the road at East St. Louis. Coming into last Tuesday night’s game, the Edwardsville Tigers had a perfect 22-0 record against the Lady Panthers since 2004. Could the Lady Panthers snap that streak and end the season on a high note?

Before last Tuesday’s game, the seniors of the squad were recognized for their accomplishments on and off the basketball court. Each senior had a memorable moment from the season, having the opportunity to take time to thank family members, coaches, friends, and others for pushing them to be the player they are, and finally what college they planned on attending next semester.

The senior players on the Lady Panthers team are Eboni Acoff, Courtney Butler, Caitlin Kayser,
Divine Lane, Celeste Akoro, and Marta Durk.

After the festivities were finished, it was time to play some basketball. The first quarter was a back and forth battle as the Lady Panthers and Lady Tigers were trading baskets like crazy. After one quarter, the Lady Panthers found themselves trailing by three. The second quarter was just like the first quarter, both teams jockeying for the lead. As the quarter ended, the Lady Panthers still trailed the Lady Tigers 26-20.

After an exciting first half of basketball, what was to be expected in the second half? Well the Lady Tigers came out shooting, hitting some big three’s to extend their already lead. The Lady Panthers tried battling back, but the defense had a hard time defending the three’s. After the third quarter concluded, the Lady Panthers found themselves trailing by 11 points headed to the fourth and final quarter. The Lady Panthers seemed to found their groove late in the fourth, but by the time they seemed to be clicking, Edwardsville had already had a decent size lead and ended up defeating the Lady Panthers by the final score of 68-48. Senior Marta Durk finished the night with 12 points, while senior Divine Lane had eight points on the night. The Lady Panthers would head to East St. Louis on Thursday night to wrap up the season.

After falling to Edwardsville Tuesday night, the Lady Panthers were looking to finish the last game of the season with a winner. They headed to East St. Louis to take on the Flyers. The last time these two teams faced each other was back in January at the Panther Dome. The Lady Panthers came away with the victory that night, looking for the series sweep.

Early in the first period you knew it was going to be tough to score points. The Lady Panthers went into the second quarter with a 15-9 lead. Then in the second, both offensives seemed to find their grooves as shots continued to fall. At halftime, the Lady Panthers trialed the Lady Flyers 30-29.

After putting up 21 points in the second quarter, the Lady Flyers put up another 21 points to start the third quarter, while the Lady Panthers put up 16 in the third. With the Lady Panthers trailing heading into the fourth, it was make or break time for the Lady Panthers. The offense heated up coming out of the gate, as they went on a nice run tying the game and eventually taking the lead. The Lady Panthers defense also stepped up in crucial situations as they held East St. Louis to nine total points in the fourth quarter. With the offense and defense clicking, the Lady Panthers left East St. Louis with a 65-60 win and the season sweep of the Lady Flyers.

With that victory, the Lady Panthers finish their season with an overall record of 17-10 and a conference record of 9-5.