Nevada Daily Mail
SHELDON -- The Sheldon Lady Panthers basketball team had quite a scare Tuesday night when Emily Laning went down hard in the middle of the court with an apparent leg injury in the fourth quarter of the Lady Panthers' game against the Lady Knights of Northeast Vernon County.
Laning's injury came with 4 minutes, 24 seconds to go in the game and put a blanket of silence over the gym at Sheldon High School. After several seconds on the floor in severe pain, Laning was helped to the bench by Lady Panthers head coach Leon Lowe and Sheldon High School principal Jason Irwin.
Though the injury came too late to really make a significant impact on the game, the wind was obviously taken out of the Lady Panthers' sails on that play and the Lady Knights took full advantage, taking a 67-44 win. Details on the severity of Laning's injury were unavailable Tuesday night.
The Lady Panthers came into the contest seeking just their third win of the season -- second at home -- but that didn't happen as struggles on both ends of the floor simply didn't allow the Lady Panthers to gain any momentum.
Neither team really was able to find much of a rhythm early in the contest as the Lady Panthers scored just eight points in the opening period, but still came out of it with a one-point lead. Head coach Jeremy Barger's Lady Knights took control from there, however, ultimately working their way to a 30-23 halftime edge.
In what ultimately proved to be a very physical confrontation, the two squads were called for a total of 22 fouls in the opening half. Things did get better in that regard, but the Lady Panthers still struggled on both ends of the floor.
Throughout the majority of the game's opening half, the Lady Knights were getting multiple shots on nearly every possession, resulting in a significant rebounding edge and that showed on the scoreboard as well. By the time all was said and done, the Lady Knights earned their sixth win of the season by a final score of 67-44.
"I thought the girls played very hard tonight," Barger said. "This season, there have been times where we are our own worst enemy, tonight they overcame that and played well."
Neither team shot well from the field or the free-throw line on the night, but the Lady Knights did what they had to do and finished the game with nearly twice as many free throw attempts and 18 more field-goal attempts than the Lady Panthers. Barger's Lady Knights finished the game 25-for-65 from the field and 17-for-28 from the charity stripe, while the Lady Knights shot just 17-for-47 from the field and 7-for-14 from the line.
"I stressed before the game that we have to get our posts involved and our offense would open up, and the girls did just that," Barger said. "This team has some good talent and when we figure out how to play together as a team, the sky is the limit!"
Camille Buttorff led the Lady Knights with 32 points on the night and was joined in double figures by Payton Hays with 14 and Ryann Ford with 11. For the Lady Panthers, Alesha Laning was the only player in double figures as she finished with 20 points.
Next on the scheduled for the Lady Panthers is Friday, when they take back to the road to take on the Lady Hornets of Hume -- the only team Sheldon defeated in the Appleton City Tournament. The Lady Knights are scheduled to return to action on the road as well, when they kick off the Humansville Invitational against Humansville on Thursday.