Third time was a charm for the Metro High School girls’ basketball team. After losing in two straight state championship games, the Panthers topped Clopton, the defending Class 2 champs, 49-44.
Last year, Metro lost a 57-50 decision to Clopton in the Class 2 championship game. In 2004, when they were in Class 3, the Panthers lost a 56-44 title game to Stockton.
Metro led 20-19 at the half, after both teams had trouble putting the ball in the basket. The Panthers shot 20 percent from the field, while Clopton shot 20 percent. In fact, the Hawks were 3-of-17 from the field in the first half. 10 of their 19 first half points came from the free throw line, where they were 10-of-18.
It was tight in the first couple of minutes of the third quarter. With the score tied at 22-22, Metro sophomore forward Moneshia Davis scored the next six points of the game to put the Panthers on top 28-22. They took a 34-30 advantage going into the fourth.
Metro trailed 40-39, when Brittany Dodson hit a jumper to put the Panters on top 41-40. On the next trip down the court, LaChelle Livingston stole the ball and cruised coast-to-coast for an uncontested lay up to make it 43-40, Metro.
Up 46-44 with 44.5 seconds left, Lauren Witherspoon, the lone senior on the team, was sent to the line and missed both free throws. Clopton moved the ball quickly up court, but Davis made her biggest play of the game, when she came away with a steal. With 26.2 seconds remaining, she was fouled and hit one of two free throws to make it 47-44.
Moneshia Davis led all scorers with 18 points. She also had seven rebounds, three assists and six steals.
Megan Nacke had 16 to lead Clopton.
It’s been a great start for head coach Gary Glasscock who has now taken Metro to three straight championship games in just his fourth season as head coach. The Panthers finished the season with a 29-3 record.
Clopton, which was in its fourth state title game, ended the season 29-3. They’re 1-3 in those title games.