Ledford girls run by North

Ledford's Jada Bell gets a hand in the face from North Davidson's Amanda Davis as Bell goes up for a shot during their game Friday night. (Photo by Donnie Roberts/The Dispatch)

The last time Ledford and North Davidson’s girls played, the Panthers bolted to a huge halftime lead before hanging on for a two-point win.

The Knights couldn’t mount a rally this time.

Ledford raced to an 18-10 lead after one quarter, and Emmalee Thomas erupted for 15 points in the second as the Panthers rolled to a 63-46 victory Friday in Wallburg. Down 37-20 at the break, the Knights couldn’t make a serious charge in the second half.

North coach Kendra Puckett could only shake her head as the Panthers put together a blistering run late in the first quarter and early in the second, which featured a myriad of fast-break buckets and Thomas hitting everything she put up. “They couldn’t miss,” Puckett said. “And we just got beat back a lot; we’ve just got to get back on defense a lot quicker.”

Ledford coach John Ralls recognized the speed advantage the Panthers had with guards Brie Grier and MacKenzie Cranford, and enjoyed watching his team race up and down the court in transition. “We got some things in transition, some offensive conversions,” Ralls said. “We got some easy looks that we haven’t been getting.

“And when we pushed it up hard like that, we also were able to spread people to the 3-point line and get them the ball before the defense had the chance to fan out.”

Leading 9-6 midway through the first quarter, Grier drained a 3 that ignited the Panthers. She then scored a fast-break bucket before Courtney Callicutt scored twice more in transition.

Thomas opened the second quarter with a long jumper from the top of the key, then buried a 3 from the wing for a 23-10 Ledford advantage. The Knights never really recovered.

Callicutt led the Panthers, who improved to 4-2, with 18 points, and Grier added nine. Lauren Ramsey led North, which slipped to 1-3, with 12 points.

Jason Queen can be reached at 249-3981, ext. 220 or jason.queen@the-dispatch.com.