The Ridgeland Lady Panthers have endured what can only be considered a frustrating season thus far.
Ridgeland came into Friday night with 12 losses on the season, seven of which have come by 10 points or less and several of those have been one-possession games in the fourth quarter.
But back at home and facing Southeast Whitfield, the Lady Panthers did something they have struggled to do at times this season - finish.
Tied 31-31 to start the fourth, Ridgeland simply dominated the last eight minutes of the game and collected a 48-34 win over the Lady Raiders, finally earning that long-awaited first region victory of the year.
"It feels good to finally get that first region win," head coach Ryan Pipes said. "I wish it had come before now, but we've played almost everybody in the region at least once now and we've had some close ones. But tonight we finally got it done."
Hayley Sandridge scored just seven points on the night, but six of those points came in the decisive 17-3 final period, including a banked-in 3-pointer that saw Sandridge respond with a sheepish grin as she jogged back upcourt.
Fran King matched Sandridge with seven points, D' Erika Ervin had six points on a pair of threes and Hailey Bryant finished with five points and grabbed 10 rebounds.
But the story on Friday was the play of senior post player Brylee Dunn.
Dunn was nearly unstoppable in the region clash. She scored 21 points and officially added 19 rebounds and 10 blocked shots to complete the triple-double in what was one of the best performances of her career. Seven of her rebounds her on the offensive end and she added three assists and one steal for good measure.
"That's like the third or fourth triple-double she's had this year," Pipes added. "She's done well this season. We told her at the start of the year that the offense was going to run through her a lot. She's really accepted that role and worked hard. She's had to play a lot of tough minutes this year and she played well again tonight."
McKenna Lentych led all scorers with 23 points for the Lady Raiders.
Ridgeland will try to keep it rolling on Saturday as they host LFO starting at 6 p.m. The two teams played on Dec. 16 with the Lady Panthers collecting a 59-56 victory in the non-region game.
In the nightcap, Southeast Whitfield jumped out to an 11-2 lead midway through the first quarter and went on to a 71-56 victory over the Panthers, dropping Ridgeland to 5-10 overall and 3-4 in Region 6-AAAA play.
Individual scoring was not provided as of press time