Panthers overcame their toughest test of their league campaign so far with a toughly fought win over the East Warriors tonight.
Straight from the tip off Panthers had the Warriors on the back foot as the 5 on court came out energetic. David McKechnie and Glen Honeyman led the offence with their ball movement. The Warriors failed to deal with David and Glen allowing both open three’s and drives to the rim. Warriors had a major height advantage but despite attempts to dominate inside the paint, Teejay and Mateusz dealt with them well as the 2 of them rebounded excellently, giving Panthers a early control on the game. Warriors were then the ones who put Panthers on the back foot as their ball movement allowed open drives and shots, and they began to dominate inside the key, and the rebounds on both ends. The first quarter ended 17-17.
The Warriors came out in the second quarter strong from the off. Their work inside the key on the offensive end, and their defensive rebounding seemed to give them a slight edge, as they took a 8 point lead. Panthers finally found an answer to this however, as Mateusz put up post moves and converted second chance possessions gaining him a quick 8 points. In the last few minutes, Panthers took their foot off the gas and the Warriors took full advantage of this through their fast break offence. Half time 33-32 to Warriors.
After half time, the game stayed much the same. Panthers scored through David’s excellent driving, and Warriors kept the game close by continuing their work inside on both ends. Warriors hit 2 quick succession three’s which seemed to concern Panthers, but they answered back by hitting 2 three’s of their own from Glen. Shaun hit a three on Panthers last possession of the quarter.
Panthers had opened up a slight lead as they went into the fourth quarter up 61-55. Both teams upped the intensity on defence to start the fourth. Jonny McKechnie seemed to be the key to opening up the Warriors tight defence as his ball movement and off ball work have the team looks at the basket. Warriors broke through the Panthers tough defence by capitalising on the few mistakes Panthers made. Warriors began to catch up putting the Panthers under immense pressure. This frustrated the Panthers who needed something to help finish the game off. Glen came up clutch as usual hitting 2 tough drives to give Panthers an increased lead. Warriors sent Panthers to the line, first Teejay, then Shaun converting under pressure ensuring Panthers won the game, and go 5-0 in the league.
FINAL SCORE PANTHERS 72-66 WARRIORS
Panthers Top Scorers:
Shaun Heer – 21
Glen Honeyman – 16
Mateusz Palczynski – 14
David McKechnie – 12
Ahmed Teejay – 9