A 21-point first quarter propelled the Midlothian Lady Panthers to a crucial bounce-back district victory Tuesday night at home against Joshua.

The Lady Panthers outscored the Lady Owls 21-4 in the opening quarter and then led 31-16 at the half. Midlothian turned up the defensive pressure in the second half, limiting Joshua to just 16 points, for the 59-32 victory.

"Winning is a good thing," head coach Amy Tennison said. "[...] We needed the whole team. It was a great team win."

"We talk a lot about the game within the game and winning those things," Tennison continued. "We have five things that we evaluate on and just need to continue building momentum. We finally had a game where we felt like we won all five games within the game. The kids are buying into that and believing in it. They understand the importance of team defense and we haven't played defense [as well as tonight] since early in the year. We really set the tone and preach that."

Maeghan Palmer converted on all nine of her free throws for a team-high 19 points.

Kierra Middleton added 16 points, while Jackson had 10 and Savanna Glossup scored six. Schreier (4 points), Hallie Mayfield (2) and Jerica Henderson rounded out the Lady Panthers scoring.

The win improved Midlothian to 14-9 on the season and 2-3 in District 14-5A.

It was just the second game for the Lady Panthers over the past 10 days and also marked their fourth consecutive win dating back to Dec. 29.

Midlothian had not played a district game since Dec. 21, which was a 56-41 loss against Cleburne.

Tennison said the time off was "really good" for the Lady Panthers as a whole, both physically and mentally.

"We needed a break and were pretty banged up heading into the Christmas break," Tennison explained. "Those first four district games, we competed and were in the ballgames but we just kind of weren't full throttle. We got some games under our belt over the break and, hopefully, got some confidence back and feel good. Tonight helped too."


Midlothian returns to action at 6:15 p.m. Friday night on the road against (13-16, 2-3) Ennis.


Fred Phipps/Daily Light contributed to this report.