Photos: Region champion Panthers end season with loss to Riverside

By Michael Tadie, Travelers Rest Tribune sports reporter:

TRAVELER REST, S.C. — The Northwest Middle School Panthers lost to the Riverside Royals of Greer Wednesday night in the first round of the Greenville County School District Tournament. The Panthers, who won the Northern Greenville Regional Championship earlier this week by defeating Riverside, finished their season 12-2. The Panthers’ only two losses this year were to the Royals.

In Wednesday’s match, Riverside won the first set 25-17 before Northwest came back to take the second set 25-23. The Royals won the third and fourth sets 25-17 and 25-20, respectively, to take the best-of-five set match.

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In the first set, Riverside jumped to a 10-2 lead. The Panthers fought back, and with Anna Kate Bolt serving, won seven straight points. Riverside led 16-14 before taking nine of the last 12 points to win the set.

In the second set, Northwest and Riverside stayed within two points of each other through the early going. With Northwest leading 13-10, the Royals ran off seven consecutive points to take a 17-13 advantage. The Panthers outscored the Royals 12 to 6 to finish the set. With Mahayla Law, Lee Kathryn Thompson, Carly Anderson, and Caiden Johnston serving the final eight points, the Panthers closed out the set winning by two points.

In the third set, Riverside broke open a close game, turning a 13-13 tie into a 22-16 lead. In the final set, Riverside led throughout, opening up a 17-11 advantage. Northwest made one final run to get within 23-18 before the Royals won. 

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Coach Stacey Nelson praised her team, noting that they had a good season.

“We have a good group of girls," Nelson said. "They worked hard and were very scrappy throughout the season.” 

Nelson noted that the team had eight 8th graders and four 7th graders this year. 

Click images below to enlarge and/or start slideshow. All photos by James Richardson/Travelers Rest Tribune.


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