Pangburn shook the cobwebs from an 18-day layoff, charging past Episcopal Collegiate 64-42 on Wednesday in the first round of the Ortho Arkansas Conway Christian Invitational.
The Lady Tigers, who improved to 8-3 for the season, surged in front 20-8 after one quarter of play and emptied their bench while rotating players in waves for the remainder of the contest, easing to a victory over the 3A Lady Wildcats.
"I felt like we were really rusty," said Pangburn Coach Christie Rolland. "Of course not playing in two and a half weeks it wasn't very surprising that we were rusty. We came out and did some good things and tried to work the kinks out and get back to where we need to be."
Pangburn took a quick 4-0 lead as post player Savanna Jacobs scored from left block and guard Kari Hartsfield notched a putback. The Lady Tigers stretched their lead to 8-2 on a bucket off an inbound play by forward Savannah Tharp and two free throws from Jacobs.
Episcopal guard Haley Henderson countered with a three-pointer from left wing before guard Megan Chastain slashed left baseline for a layup and Jacobs added a stick back.
Pangburn pushed its lead to 16-6 on back-to-back jumpers in the lane from forward Savannah Burress and Chastain, but guard Micaylah Thomas sank a midrange jumper from left wing.
Tharp responded, using a spin move to elude a defender and score while drawing contact. Tharp completed the three-point play and added one more from the line following an offensive rebound late in the first quarter, giving Pangburn a 20-8 lead after eight minutes of play.
Forward Bliss Davis sank a jumper from the foul line to open the second and Chastain used a ball fake to get free for a 17-foot jumper from right wing as the Lady Tigers extended their lead to 25-9 early in the second.
Following a rebound bucket by Episcopal forward Ayanna Worsham, guard Arnalie Kins picked a steal and passed up the floor to Thomas, who scored while drawing a foul.
Thomas completed the three-point play, pulling the Lady Wildcats within nine at 25-16 before Tharp scored six straight, starting with a bucket in the paint off an assist from forward Barbara King.
After dropping a pair of free throws, Tharp sliced through the middle of the lane for a layup, but Thomas countered with a three-pointer at the buzzer, leaving the Lady Tigers with a 31-19 lead at halftime.
Thomas opened the third quarter with a free throw, but Pangburn would respond with a 6-0 spurt sparked by Hartsfield, who sank a jumper from the foul line off an offensive rebound assist from Burress.
Page 2 of 2 - Tharp added two baskets, including a driving layup, but Episcopal hung around with a 5-0 spurt capped by Henderson, who drained a three-pointer from left wing, trimming the Lady Tigers' lead to 37-25.
King found Jacobs inside for a layup and Tharp slashed down the right side of the lane for a layup but Worsham came up with a steal and hit Thomas for an easy basket.
After Tharp canned two free throws, Thomas swiped a steal and finished in the open floor.
Pangburn pushed its lead to 43-27 on a pair of free throws from Tharp, but Thomas picked up two more points off a steal. The Lady Tigers bounced back with four straight as Davis scored from left block off an assist from Chastain and Burress added a basket off an assist from guard Alyssa Shepard.
With time winding down in the third quarter, Thomas found forward Sally Barnes in transition for a layup, leaving the Lady Tigers with a 47-31 lead entering the final eight minutes of play.
angburn cruised in the fourth quarter as Tharp sank a free throw and forward Lakelan Bell hit a difficult turnaround shot from right side. Following three free throws by Thomas, Jacobs drove to the basket for a layup, but Barnes responded with a jumper from right elbow.
Leading 54-36, Pangburn cruised down the stretch as Tharp, Jacobs and Burress each sank two free throws, while Bell contributed two baskets from left block, including one off an assist from guard Morgan Gallegly.
Thomas paced Episcopal (0-3) with 20 points and Henderson added 10.
Tharp led Pangburn with 20 points, Jacobs followed with 14 and Chastain finished with 10 for the Lady Tigers, who advanced to play Woodlawn in the semifinals on Thursday.
The Lady Tigers visit Walnut Ridge tonight for a 2-2A Conference game.