MILLER GROVE — The North Hopkins Panthers fell behind Bland early and had to play catch-up the rest of the night before finally falling to the Tigers, 52-38. The playoff jitters seemed to get to the Panthers while the veteran Tigers, with four seniors, streaked to a 17-0 first quarter lead. The Panthers first score came on an old fashioned three point play with Jose Osorio hitting a driving shot and then converting a free throw with 6:28 left in the second quarter to make it a 17-3 game.
"It's hard to beat a veteran team like Bland when you get behind early," Panther head boys coach Clay Pirtle said. "Bland played well, but I am really proud of the way my guys fought back and pressured them in the second half."
Bland went up 20-3 with 4:54 left in the half on a three point bomb by Joseph Sourber, who connected on three treys for the game and had 16 points. The Tigers pulled away to a 25-11 halftime lead in the second quarter.
Bland's 6'5" post Blake Fryman, was held to five first half points, but exploded in the third quarter for 12 points on his way to a game high 19.
"We let Fryman get good position on us in the third quarter and he hurt us when we left him open," Pirtle added.
The Panthers could not get any closer in than 31-18 in the third period and fell behind 39-20 going into the final eight minutes. Bland led 46-26 with 3:38 remaining in the contest when Silas Whaley connected on two free throws and then made a steal and a lay-up top cut it to 46-30 at 3:19. The Panther press caused Bland some problems in the final minutes. Terance Berry had a steal and a lay-up that cut the lead to 47-35, but the Tigers held on in the final two minutes to secure the bi-district win 52-38. The Panthers actually outscored Bland 38-35 in the final three quarters.
"We are going to miss our seniors, but we have a solid nucleus of young players coming back next year," Pirtle said. "We had seven sophomores suited up tonight and five of them saw a lot of action this year. We will also have three juniors coming back so we feel good about our prospects in thge new district for next season."
Bland advances to take on Cayuga in the area round while the Panthers ended the season at 11-19.
"We played a very tough schedule and will do the same thing next year," Pirtle noted. "But we won't back down from anybody and I know these kids coming back will always give me 100 percent. I never have to worry about their effort, it's always there."
Osorio led the Panther scoring with 11 points with six other Panthers scoring in the contest.
Bland 52, North Hopkins 38
North Hopkins 0 11 8 19 — 38
Bland 17 8 14 13 — 52
North Hopkins- Osorio 11, Berry 7, Jessie Williams 6, Whaley 5, River Milam 5, Blake Adams 2, Kevin Meza 1
Bland- Fryman 19, Sourber 16, Christian Aviles 6, Adam Shinn 3, B.J. Demars 3, Jalon Jerman 2, Matt Morquecho 2.
Three point shots NH - Osorio (1); Bland - Sourber (3)
|< Prev||Next >|