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Panthers struggle, fall to Southwestern Randolph

The shorthanded Ledford boys never could find their rhythm against Southwestern Randolph and dropped a 58-43 loss to the Cougars in a game that ended with the Panthers drawing three technical fouls in the final 28 seconds.

The Panthers seemed offensively out of sync all night and managed just six field goals the entire second half.

Illness and injury have limited the Panthers to just nine players, none of them a true post man.

“Skylar (McGee) is really my only post player, and really, he’d rather be on the outside,” said Ledford coach Jonathan Leonard, whose team is now 1-7 in the conference, 7-13 overall.

“We’re still turning the ball over way too much. Plus, we just haven’t progressed offensively through the season like I wished we had. Does that have something to do with sickness and injury? Maybe.

“But still, we’ve got to be able to do what we run in practice,” said Leonard.

The Panthers trailed 28-26 at the half, but the Cougars came out and opened the third period with a 12-3 run, and Ledford never could mount a serious comeback after that.

“We did a great job on defense tonight,” said Cougar coach Matt Kiser. “For the most part we took away their strengths and kind of made them play away from that. We made them adjust a little bit from what they’re comfortable in doing.”

The technical trouble came late in the game when two different Ledford players were called for T’s while on the bench. Then Leonard drew a technical himself 15 seconds later. He was not ejected but disqualified, which means he can return to coach next week.

McGee was Ledford’s top scorer with 17 points.

Southwestern, which had not won a game since mid-January, improved to 1-6 in the league, 2-17 overall.