The Panthers Senior Men fell at the first hurdle in this years Scottish Cup with a spirited defeat to an impressive Pleasance BC team.
Panthers started the game with debutants Mateusz Palczynski and Jeb Spink on the floor, accompanied by David Mckechnie, Michael Cattanach and Shaun Heer, with the opposition having a notable size advantage. This, however, did not have much bearing in the opening minutes as Panthers raced out to an 8-2 lead- forcing Pleasance to call a time out. This time out seemed to have the desired effect and following it, Pleasance looked a more organised outfit at both ends of the court, finishing the first quarter with a six point advantage.
With unfamiliarity between new team mates apparent, Panthers struggled mightily on offence in the second quarter. Despite what seemed like a disastrous quarter, the score was only 25-36 at half time.
A much improved third quarter- brought about by some effective transition play- kept hope in the game, and a Shaun Heer buzzer-beater three at the end of the third, saw the away side’s lead cut down to just eight points.
Hope quickly turned to frustration as the offensive woes of earlier crept back. However, credit must go to the opposition’s help defence which limited scoring opportunities at the hoop.
The game stayed with an uncomfortable 9-14 score gap for much of the fourth quarter, leaving the optimistic supporter with some hope. However, this was not to be, as Pleasance ran out the last few minutes professionally and built up the score near the end.
All in all, it was a good showing in the first competitive game this squad has played together, against a team currently ranked 7th in the country.
The Panthers do not play for another three weeks and will look to use this time to build chemistry within the side and to build on the positives from today’s defeat.
Best of luck to Pleasance in the next round and for the rest of the season.
FINAL SCORE: Panthers 63-80 Pleasance BC
Panthers Top Scorers:
M Palczynski 18
S Heer 11
M Cattanach 9