McKinney one hand

Palmyra’s Rylie McKinney puts up a one-handed shot against Macon Saturday.

The PHS varsity girls basketball team’s dream season came to an abrupt end on the home floor Saturday.

The Lady Panthers (22-4) fell to Macon, 58-49, in the Class 3, District 11 championship game.

Macon (22-4) moves on to the Class 3 sectionals while the Lady Panthers see their season end well short of the goals they set out to reach.

“I told the girls, nobody ever wants to see this one happen. You hope. You have visions. You think maybe this is going to be the year. But God had other plans,” said Coach Chris Parsons. “It told them whatever happens is meant to happen.

“This one will sting for a little bit, but I think, as they look back at their careers, overall, there is a lot of good to be had.”

But it wasn’t going to happen against Macon which beat Palmyra twice, convincingly, on the Lady Panthers’ home floor in both contests between the two this season. 

“Macon hit some big shots when they had to, when we were climbing back in it,” Parsons said. “You’ve got to hand it to them. That is a great team. They work hard. They’ve got a chance.”

Macon got out to a strong start and led 14-7 going into the second period, but Palmyra fought back cutting the Tigerettes’ lead to the very end of the half, when Isabelle Goldinger drained a three-point shot at the buzzer to tie the game at 23  going into the break.

But, Macon took the advantage again to start the second half, holding Palmyra off to lead by five going into the final period.

The Lady Panthers managed to get to within three early in the fourth quarter, only to see Macon answer with a 13-5 run that included two three-point shots and a three-point play that gave the Tigerettes a secure 51-40 lead with 1:52 left in regulation.

The Lady Panthers advanced to the title game with a 61-42 win over third-seeded Clark County Wednesday.

Palmyra did so with the help of a strong start, scoring the first 11 points of the game in getting out to a 32-17 halftime lead.

The Lady Panthers opened the tournament last Monday with a trouble-free 56-30 win over seventh-seeded Centralia.

Palmyra got out to a 15-6 lead and then shut out Centralia the rest of the half to take a 25-point lead into halftime.

See more in this week's Palmyra Spectator.