The No. 3 ranked Lady Panthers (23-6) failed to maintain an early lead, and No. 2 Gaston held on for a 54-46 victory in the Class 1A, Area 13 Tournament championship game at Spring Garden.
The hosts had a 10-7 first-quarter lead before a 14-2 run gave the Lady Bulldogs (27-2) the advantage for good.
Spring Garden drew within four points in the fourth period, but the hosts had to foul with more than four minutes left, and Gaston made enough free throws to secure the victory.
The Lady Bulldogs led 29-19 at halftime and 41-30 after three quarters.
We missed some shots after [Gaston's second quarter run] and played catch-up for the rest of the game, said Spring Garden head coach Ricky Austin. Gastons a very good team, and we didnt play well enough to win. Well just have to play well at Woodville [in a subregional game on Thursday] and find a way to get back to Jacksonville.
Gaston hosts Valley Head on Thursday.
Paige Anderson led Spring Garden with 22 points, while Bridget Parris added 10.
Tournament MVP Jazmine Martin paced Gaston with 24 points