Lucas Domonousky Breeze-Courier Sports Editor
PANA — Quiet and chilly Tuesday night in Pana laid the foundation for an intriguing South Central conference matchup. The Panthers hosted Vandalia for an exciting boys basketball game. Pana finished the job and defeated Vandals, 66-51 the final.
The two teams were locked in a stalemate for the beginning quarter. It was most definitely an offensive game. The better defense being sacrificed for positioning.
“The attention to detail, especially on the rebounding, just wasn’t there.” Head Coach Adam Metzger stated. Pana gave up eight second chance points in the first which is a big no-no. Never the less, this team continued to fight, listen and respond with positivity against the adversity.
Quarter number two is where the momentum started to shift in the home team’s favor. Kyle Kuhn saved the ball from going out of bounds with a buttery smooth pass to
Drew Hackler for the easy lay up. The two seniors finished with 14 combined points. Pana stepped up their defense as well. Junior Devon Peebles had a devastating fast break block on his Vandals opponent. Peebles finished the match with 10 points. The move fired up the crowd and the Panthers headed into the locker room at the Half up 38-29.
“We did not settle for shots. We were passing up really good shots for great shots.” commented Metzger. Seniors Colin Schmitz and Brenden Schoonover proved this by taking high percentage shots but still leading their team in scoring. Schoonover had a total of 14 points in the game. Schmitz had 17 and was a perfect 4-4 from the free throw line. Junior Max Lynch also was perfect from the line going 1-1 and finishing the game with 5 points. Pana shot an 89% free throw percentage.
Metzger commented on the unselfishness of this team.
“I don’t know who had the most scores at the end of the night or who had the most assists. I just know WE did as a team. That is all they care about as well.”
The Panthers secured the conference battle 66-51. With the playoffs in just two weeks Pana is fighting and competing more as each game passes.
“Aim to get better.” he said “If you’re not aiming to get better, improve on the small details, be locked in and focused you’re doing yourself a disservice.”