Grier, Panthers turn back Storm

Feb. 01, 2013 @ 11:23 PM

 After Southern Guilford’s 17-4 run in the third quarter got Ledford’s attention, Brie Grier got her teammates’ attention.
“I pulled the team together and told them, ‘Let’s put them away, get another win,’ ” the Panthers’ guard said.
A few minutes later, Grier headed to the bench for a well-earned rest late in the fourth quarter. With the Panthers leading 60-34, Grier loudly told the newcomers to “keep up the intensity, y’all!”
There was plenty of intensity to go around Friday night in Ledford’s 69-37 throttling of the Storm. The Panthers won their sixth straight game to improve to 16-3 overall and 6-0 in the Mid-Piedmont 3A. Ledford raced to a 17-6 lead after one quarter and was up 33-11 at the half before stretching the margin to 42-15 midway through the third quarter.
That’s when Aeriel Ellis (13 points overall) and Aloni McFarland (11) sparked the Storm surge. The Ledford lead wasn’t exactly in danger, but a score of 46-32 showed that more work remained.
“Southern Guilford woke up a little bit,” Ledford coach John Ralls said. “Their kids started playing better.”
Grier scored four of the first five baskets of the fourth quarter. The speedy point guard sneaked inside for a putback, spun through the lane for a layup, got inside for another rebound basket and then took a pass from Courtney Callicutt for an easy layup.
Emmalee Thomas and Julia Carroll drained 3-pointers during the run and Leigh Midkiff also had a putback as the margin raced to 63-34. Ledford outscored Southern 23-5 in the period.
Grier’s 15 points led all scorers, while Callicutt had 13. The other talented Panther guards continued their stellar play: Carroll had eight points and MacKenzie Cranford and Sydney Stroud each had two while playing tight defense.
“We have five kids there that can really play,” Ralls said. “Sydney’s not going to score a lot, but you don’t want her guarding you. They all deserve to play.”
Thomas finished with nine points. Midkiff added eight and Jada Bell had six.