Fans' misbehavior didn’t dim Lady Panther spirit

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By Sharon Graves

The Lady Panthers may have been out-scored and out-sized in the 8th Region tournament, but the girls and their Carroll County fans outclassed Anderson County, hands down.

High school sports should bring out the best in competition, and good sportsmanship; occasionally it does just the opposite. That was the case Monday night when CCHS played Anderson County at South Oldham High School.

A group of about a dozen Anderson County roughnecks sitting on the Carroll County side of the gym harangued and harassed the Lady Panthers the entire game.

After she missed a shot early in the game, the pack of boys commenced shouting “air ball, air ball,” every time Keshia Henderson touched the basketball. Then, they started on Kyndal Curry, cat-calling her “Ginger, Ginger,” a reference to her red hair and the “Gilligan’s Island” character.

Cheering for you own team is one thing, but trying to humiliate the opponent is just poor sportsmanship. Anderson County’s Lady Bearcats are a good, solid team, and for them, the game was never in jeopardy. The Lady Panthers had to chase them all night. So why these rowdy bullies’s felt the need to try to humiliate the opposing team is beyond me.

But what really concerned me was that no one went over to these hooligans and told them to knock it off. Not a referee, no one from South Oldham, not the cheerleading coach. No adult from the other side addressed their uncouth behavior.

I’ve attended a lot of games this year and I’ve witnessed on several occasions when CCHS Principal John Leeper has gone to our student section to address behavior issues. I’ve been grateful, and the community should be grateful for his diligence in teaching good behavior and sportsmanship.

It was a hard-fought game – and one of the best I think our girls have played this year. The Lady Panthers went up over a much taller team, rebounded better and forced the Lady Bearcats into turning over the ball, all without getting to the line. It was an excellent effort on the Lady Panthers’ part.

I was very proud of our team and our fans for keeping their cool when they had been goaded all night by a group with a mob mentality. Anderson County has a long way to go to measure up to the Lady Panthers.

Sharon Graves is staff writer for The News-Democrat.