By Allen Hamrick
The Panthers have started the season off with a bang going 1-1 on the week. In the early polls, they appear to be a team to contend with this year with tons of talent and speed. First on the docket was a much anticipated rematch with the Eagles of Braxton. The Panthers showed that they were there to play ball. The boys had plenty of tricks up their sleeves and set the net on fire.
Tanner Faulkner was zeroed in and led the field with 25 points, followed by Colton Pritt with 13 and Curtis Litton with 10 of his own – two of which came in the form of an in your face slam. The Panther defense closed the gaps in the paint and held the fouls to a minimum. They also kept their opponents busy in the perimeter and stopped any big scoring on the boards all the while keeping the pressure up. It was like rolling an egg with an ice pick for the Eagles; they just couldn’t go net to net with the Panthers. The Panther defense held the Eagles to a crawl in the 4th period allowing just four points to the Panthers 16. In the end, it was payback from last year with the final score rolling in at Panthers 64, Eagles 44. If the Panthers can keep this pace up and the mistakes to a slow crawl, it will be a good year for them.
Then came Saturday night, and the Panthers butted heads with the always well-oiled Hoover Husky team. The Huskies are known for their abilities on perimeter shooting the three point shot. When a team can drop threes as easily as chewing gum, the score can stack up like old newspapers. The Panthers seemed versed in how to handle it, but then the game began. It was fast paced, as usual, and the Panthers were neck and neck in the first period with the score standing at 13-18. The Panthers started having trouble with their air show, missing shots under the net. At the half, the Panthers fell behind 19-28. They had a chance to get back some points in the 3rd as the Panther defense stepped up and held the Huskies to just three points, but the offense was still nowhere to be found as they could only muster seven points in the period. The 4th period came alive with offense for the Panthers, scoring 20 points. However, foul trouble for the Panthers allowed their opponents 14 points from the line, and the Panthers couldn’t come back from the deficit. The final score was Panthers 48, Huskies 55. It was a tough game but a good learning experience. The Panthers will be back in action this week at home against Roane County on Tuesday night and at home again on Thursday night against Webster. If you get a chance come out and support the teams. Go Panthers!