Panthers senior men opened their season with a win against beacon. Beacon scored the first basket of the game with Martin Sandison retaliating for panthers. The men fell behind early in the game as the beacon team came out shooting well and our men squandered some opportunities.
After the break and following advice from veteran player Nick Ruta panthers began playing with more of an uptempo attitude. This led to scores from polish ace Mateusz Palczynski, new youth signing Connor McConnach and returned defensive stalwart Teejay Afolabi. This quarter and fastbreaking offense saw panthers taking the lead for the first time in the game and building a small lead they wouldnt relinquish for the rest of the match.
After a strong solid showing in the second quarter the third saw Nick scoring the ball well with the full team being involved in offences passing around. Steve Cattanach saw his introduction into the game during this quarter and provided solid minutes from the bench proving the panthers can utilise the whole team and how valuable everyone is.
Into the fourth and Beacon realised the pressure was on for them to mount a comeback as they stepped up their defensive pressure and tried to match offensive tempo of the Panthers players. This saw the game get chippy culminating in a drive where and inadvertent and accidental finger ended up poking Martin Sandison in the eye. For the final few minutes Panthers used secretary Scott Murray, Spanish import Rafa Mendana, Steve, Nick and Connor to see out the game. The final basket for panthers coming from a Rafa corner three.
Credits must go to Beacon who pushed and provided a good game even though they were missing some key players. A great opening win and positive start to the season!
FINAL SCORE: PANTHERS 85 – 68 – BEACON GRIZZLIES