Panthers U16 boys travelled to ISA today to take on Beacon and Fraserburgh Storm. Panthers were hoping to get their local league campaign going after a inconsistent start.
First up for Panthers was a team they already had a win over this season, Beacon. Panthers started the game slowly as they struggled to get the ball up court due to Beacon’s full court press. On offence, Panthers reluctance to go to the rim and rebound saw the game stay level. A timeout seemed to finally get the boys going, as Lewis Ross hit a deep three, and Matty Kiraly’s dominance in the paint at either end saw Beacon struggle to score.
Despite a bad first quarter, Panthers were up 11-7. Beacon’s full court press saw Panthers start to panic unnecessary. This saw Beacon claw their way back into the game as they got up and then even took the lead. Another deep three and some converted free throws from Lewis Ross saw a Panthers gain a one point lead going into half time.
The half time break seemed to get Panthers going again as they started to take control of the game. Nathan Hall and Douglas Fraser seemed to be the key to breaking down the Beacon full court press. On his return from injury, Leon Dewar scored a deep two, followed by a three pointer. Great team defence saw Panthers hold Beacon to a one point quarter. Panthers led 26-15 end of the third.
Beacon’s full court press once again saw them get back into the game. Panthers failed time and time again to break down the press, and their reluctance to attack the rim saw Beacon back into the game. Panthers always reliable duo of Matty Kiraly and Lewis Ross, killed any sniff of a Beacon comeback with 3 three’s from Lewis, and Matty collecting every rebound on both ends.
FINAL SCORE PANTHERS 43-26 BEACON
Panthers Top Scorers:
Lewis Ross – 18
Matty Kiraly – 10
Leon Dewar – 7
Up next for Panthers was Fraserburgh Storm. A team who Panthers know well, having joined together to compete at National League. Once again Panthers started the game very slow. The full court press of Storm saw Panthers give the ball away time after time. This, along with bad passing and little communication, saw Panthers go down 18-4.
In the second quarter, Panthers seemed to slowly get into the game. The rebounding and finishing of Matty Kiraly and Lewis Johnston from rebounds, saw Panthers get a look back into the game. Half time saw Panthers down 27-11.
The half time break again seemed to revitalise Panthers. The hustle of Blair Leese upped Panthers attitude and teamwork. Despite stopping scoring from Storm, Panthers turned the ball over numerous times as the press of Storm was too hard to break down.
Going into the last quarter down by 16, Panthers knew it would be an uphill battle but the boys went out strong and gave it their everything. Lewis Johnston’s rebounding, and the defence of Harrison Bown, saw Panthers stop Storm scoring. With 2 minutes left, 2 quick succession three’s from Lewis Ross gave Panthers hope but time ran out as the bad start came back to haunt Panthers
FINAL SCORE PANTHERS 29-42 FRASERBURGH STORM
Panthers Top Scorers:
Lewis Ross – 11
Matty Kiraly – 8
Lewis Johnston – 8