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The Panthers hit 54 percent from the field, including 42 percent from long range, in their 57-45 win over Bellevue Saturday, Feb. 9.
Head coach Carroll Yager said he thought the team looked flat in the first half, due in part to playing a late game the night before and being out of routine on the weekend. But the boys pulled together and won the game as a unit, with all members who got playing time contributing.
Junior John Michael Adams had a monster game, scoring 10 points and pulling down eight rebounds, six offensive. He also got three steals to lead the team.
“John Michael had a great, great night where he had six offensive rebounds,” Yager said. “We only had seven and he had six of them. He responded really well, and he’s done a good job for us in his role.”
He and fellow junior Jacob Wise got things going for the Panthers (15-10) early, scoring 14 of their team’s 17 first-quarter points. Wise finished the game with eight points, five rebounds and two steals.
The Tigers (12-15) cut the lead to two points with 5:32 left in the second quarter. Out of a timeout, junior Dakota Corbin came in off the bench and nailed back-to-back buckets to give the Panthers some breathing room.
Carroll led 27-22 at the half.
The Panthers began their full court press early in the third quarter, which seemed to jumpstart their offense. They started the quarter on an 8-0 run and outscored the Tigers 17-7 in the quarter.
Brandon Stewart got into foul trouble quickly, taking a seat on the bench with two fouls with 5:02 left in the first quarter. But the senior point guard made up for it in the second half. He did not commit another foul in the game, and when the Tigers started fouling in the fourth quarter, he stepped up and hit 7-8 from the charity stripe. He finished with 13 points.
Senior Trey Boles led the Panthers with 16 points, 75 percent from two-point range.
Yager said Stewart and Boles have been pretty solid for the team lately, “but anytime we get any of those other people going, that really helps the whole situation. That was very good.
“… I told the guys that considering all the adversity we’ve had, I’m really proud of the way we’ve stuck together and kept competing.”