5A Girls Playoffs: Panthers erupt; Tigers win at Wando

Only hours after learning she had been named the Class 5A Player of the Year, Carolina Forest senior Alexis Tomlin backed it up by leading the top-seeded Lady Panthers to an impressive 53-33 victory over visiting West Ashley.

Tomlin posted an amazing double-double of 29 points and 21 rebounds and blocked five shots in a dominating performance that validates the South Carolina Basketball Coaches Association’s top annual honor.

The Lady Panthers used an overwhelming defense to claim a 28-9 halftime lead. But when they let a 19-point lead slip to seven, Tomlin took control. The senior hit a jumper to halt West Ashley’s 12-point third quarter run. Then she scored her team’s next eight points. In fact, other than Cheyenne Pyles-Moultrie’s layup with eight seconds left in the period, no other Panther scored in the third quarter.

“She’s kind of been our heart and soul all year,” coach Stacy Hughes said of Tomlin. “She’s our vocal, emotional leader. We try to run a lot of stuff through her because she sees the court so well and she’s so strong on the block with the ball. … Pretty much, when she’s touching the ball, good things are going to happen.”

Ellen Nardella added 13 points, connecting on three 3-pointers. Cheyenne Pyles-Moultrie controlled the game and finished with 6 points, Alaje Stanley had 4 points and 9 rebounds, and Gabby Giracello chipped in a 3-pointer.

Carolina Forest will host the winner of Irmo-Ashley Ridge in the second round Friday at 6:30 p.m.

* Conway 47, Wando 45: The Lady Tigers didn’t let a little thing like a long ride to the Lowcountry stop their playoff lives, knocking off the Lady Warriors on their home floor.

Conway’s Meme Williams poured in 16 points to help the Lady Tigers advance to the second round of the Class 5A state tournament.

* Lexington 58, Socastee 52: The Lady Braves made a strong push for a first-round playoff upset but fell short on the road to the Lady Wildcats.

Photo by Charles Perry/myhorrynews

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