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Forest Park pressure too much for Drew

Photo by Derrick Mahone
Forest Park junior Kayla Potts scored a game-high 24 points as the Lady Panthers cruised to a 57-36 win at Drew on Tuesday in a Region 4-AAAAA, Div. A contest.

Photo by Derrick Mahone Forest Park junior Kayla Potts scored a game-high 24 points as the Lady Panthers cruised to a 57-36 win at Drew on Tuesday in a Region 4-AAAAA, Div. A contest.

RIVERDALE — Just 10 days after a nine-point win against Drew at home, the Forest Park Lady Panthers made the trip to Drew on Tuesday.

Unlike the first meeting, the Lady Panthers fought their way to a double-digit lead and refused to let Drew back into the game.

Kayla Potts led Forest Park with 24 points and the Lady Panthers scored 19 unanswered points during the middle two quarters to come away with a 57-36 win.

After clinging to a 12-9 lead after one quarter, Forest Park’s defense kept the Lady Titans off balance and forced 13 turnovers in the second quarter to take a commanding 30-15 halftime lead. Forest Park coach Steve Cole credited his team’s changing of defenses in stifling the Drew offense.

Potts helped start the roughly eight minutes of game-changing basketball with a 3-pointer to make the score 21-15 midway through the second quarter. A Tiffany Wilson steal and two free throws made the score 23-15 with 3:34 left in the half. Wilson finished with eight steals for the game. Later a Shakira Thompson steal and layup push the lead to 26-15.

Coming out of halftime Wilson once again stole the ball, this time it led to her old-fashion three-point play and a 35-15 lead. That was followed by an Imani Richards jump shot that pushed the lead to 22 points. Finally Toxiana Wilson scored a bucket with 4:05 left in the third quarter to end the Drew drought.

After losing 44-35 at Forest Park in the first meeting, Drew (8-7, 5-4) was coming off a tough 49-47 loss to Mundy’s Mill entering this contest. Drew coach Candence Jackson said that the emotional loss played a factor in the game’s outcome.

“Because we’re so young, I don’t think we bounced back quickly,” Jackson said.

Potts hit three 3-pointers in the first quarter, accounting for nine of the 12 Lady Panthers points. Cole added that Potts is getting healthier and that the junior guard has added a calming presence to the team.

Wilson and Jada Hargrove led Drew with 11 points. Wilson also pulled down nine rebounds, while teammate Lakiah Sims had a game-high 12 rebounds. Thompson and Wilson helped Forest Park’s cause by chipping in with nine and eight points respectively.

Forest Park forced 32 turnovers for the game.