(VAN BUREN, Mo.) – The South Iron Panthers ended their season Saturday afternoon, losing to the Walnut Grove Tigers 55-52 in the Class 1 girls quarterfinals at Van Buren. South Iron trailed by one at the end of the first quarter, but took a 22-20 lead into the locker room at halftime. The Panthers started the third quarter with a 9-3 run, making it 31-23, their largest lead of the game.

The lead went back and fourth throughout the game, and the score was tied at 50 before South Iron’s Michaela Ayers broke the tie.

But that wasn’t enough, as the Tigers added 5 more points for a final score of 55-52. South Iron coach Lawrence Graves said Walnut Grove is a very dynamic basketball team.

Ayers led the Panthers in scoring with 16 points, while Grace McPhail had 21 points for Walnut Grove. The Tigers will play in the Class 1 girls semifinals in Springfield next weekend against Lakeland. South Iron wrapped up the season at 23-5.