Big first quarter fuels Lady Panthers

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CAPE MAY COURT HOUSE – Lauryn Fields and the Middle Township High School girls basketball team made sure its opponent could harbor no thoughts of an upset by the time the first quarter was finished.

Fields dropped in 11 of her game-high 26 points in the opening frame to help the Lady Panthers rush out to a 20-4 lead against Woodstown in a South Jersey Group II quarterfinal game Wednesday night. And although Woodstown cut its deficit to eight points at one stage of the second quarter, the Lady Panthers were never seriously challenged the rest of the way and cruised to a 51-34 victory.

The win places second-seeded Middle (18-9) in a sectional semifinal game Friday at home against No. 3 Cinnaminson at 6 p.m. The game will air live on 98.7 FM radio, with a live Internet stream available at

Seventh-seeded Woodstown got a strong second-quarter effort from its star player, Tori Smick, who scored 13 of her team-high 25 points in the period as the Wolverines closed to within 28-19 at the half. But Middle went on a 9-3 run to start the third quarter to pull away for good.

Fields, who had 18 points by halftime, made five three-pointers for the game. Teammate Lauren Legler, who made 8 of 9 attempts from the foul line, added 14 points in the win.


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