By Phil Albert
Special to The Daily
A Forest Park air bombardment was the difference as the Lady Panthers pummelled Union Grove, 65-33, in first-round action at the Eagle's Landing Christian Academy Hooptacular basketball tournament Friday night.
Guards Kathleen Sengsavath and Ashlee Cole combined for nine 3-point field goals in the second half and 42 of the team's 65 points as the Lady Panthers earned their way into the semifinals this afternoon against Eastside (Covington).
After struggling through the first two quarters, scoring just 15 points at halftime, the Lady Panthers answered with 23 points in the third quarter and 27 in the final quarter, thanks to the outside scoring attack.
Cole scored 14 points in the third quarter, including four 3-point field goals, and Sengsavath scored 20 points in the fourth quarter alone, including four 3-pointers.
Sengsavath would finish with a game-high 26 points, including 23 in the second half. She hit five 3-pointers on the night.
Cole, despite not playing in the second and fourth quarters, put up 16 points.
Forest Park trailed 8-4 after the first quarter before surging ahead 15-12 at halftime.
The Lady Panthers would force nine Union Grove turnovers in the third quarter and Cole hit three 3-point buckets on consecutive possessions to break the game open in the third quarter, building a 38-23 lead entering the final stanza.
Defensively, the Lady Wolverines had no answer for the outside game. Forest Park had good ball movement and Cole had several open shots in the third quarter.
That continued in the fourth quarter, this time for Sengsavath to take command. She also had a stretch of three 3-point field goals against a helpless Union Grove defense.
Olivia Lee added another 10 points for Forest Park, seven coming in the second half.
Forest Park hit on 17-of-26 shots from the floor in the second half and finished a highly-respectable 24-of-49 for the game. The Lady Panthers were also 9-of-17from the charity stripe and committed only 12 turnovers.
Corinne White had 14 points and nine rebounds to lead Union Grove, 10 points coming in the first half.
Union Grove finished 14-of-31 from the floor and 5-of-12 from the line. However, the Lady Wolverines went nearly a full four minutes in the second quarter before attempting its first shot of the quarter.
Riverwood 42, ELCA 29: Coach Keith Batchelor's Lady Chargers suffered only their second loss of the season in the first round of the ELCA tournament Friday night, going more than 12 minutes without scoring a point.
Kayla Cooper's three-point bucket gave ELCA an 18-8 lead early in the second quarter. Those was the last points until Julia Echols' bucket with seconds remaining in the third quarter as visiting Riverwood came back to score 21 unanswered points and take a 29-20 lead entering the final quarter.
ELCA shot 25 percent from the floor, 12-of-48, but only 2-of-17 in the second and third quarters combined.
The Lady Chargers jumped out to a 15-4 lead and led 15-6 entering the second quarter. The Lady Chargers still led, 18-17, at halftime.
Echols finished with 11 points to lead the Lady Chargers. Symone Ball added eight points and 12 rebounds and Cooper also had eight points.
Tourney schedule: Tournament action continues today. Consolation action tips off at 10 a.m. with Greenforest Christian against Whitewater and Union Grove against ELCA at 1p.m. In semifinal action, Mundy's Mill will play Eastside at 4 p.m. and Forest Park battles Riverwood at 7 p.m.