Turner downs boys with big quarter

The Turner Bears put the Paola Panthers in a 25-5 hole after one quarter of play on Tuesday, December 8, 2009 in the consolation of the Eudora Boys Basketball tournament in Eudora. The Panthers shooting was a cold as the temperatures outside, as they fell behind by 20 points in the opening stanza.

“We knew this was going to be tough, uphill battle offensively from day one,” said Panthers Head Coach Dave Cash. “But we have to run our offense, we have to watch our spacing.”

WLH0151 To the Panthers credit, they didn’t give up, and battled back in the second quarter, to keep the game respectable, but every time the Panthers made a run, the Bears had an answer and kept the Panthers at arm’s length through the rest of the game.

After the opening quarter nightmare, the Panthers started to chip away at the Turner lead, going on a 10-0 run to open the second period. Travis Hayes started the run with a three point basket, and Brandon Goodman kept the run going with a trey of his own a short time later. Justin Dunmars pulled the Panthers within ten points with a couple of quick baskets before Austin McClure stopped the Panther run by making two of four free throws. Dawaun Tatum pushed the Bear lead back to 14 points with a bucket before the Panthers went on another run fueled by a basket and two free throws by Nick Wilson, and baskets by Connor Kresin and Skylar Hawkins to pull the Panthers within six at 29-23. It would be as close as the Panthers would come to the Bears. Charlie Vallejo helped push the lead back to ten points on two three pointers sandwiched around a basket by Isaac Cotton and the Bears lead 35-25 at halftime.

Any momentum the Panthers had going into the half seemed to disappear as the teams took the floor after halftime. Paola tried to cut into the lead, cutting it to single digits several times in the third quarter, but every time the Panthers would pull closer, the Bears would make a quick run and punch the lead back to twelve to fifteen points. The third quarter ended with the Bears holding a 46-31 lead.

The fourth quarter was more of the same for the Panthers, as they were able to slice the Bears lead to ten points at 51-41 on the strength of a Hawkins steal and a Cotton layup. But the Panthers could come no closer and the Bears pulled back to a 17 point lead at 58-41, and then closed out the game with a 7-3 run to make the final margin eleven at 61-50.

“I have to hand it to you guys, you scrapped pretty good in the second quarter,” Cash said. “A lot of teams would have just quit at that point, you didn’t quit, you battled back.”

WLH0217 The Panthers were lead in scoring by Isaac Cotton, who hit for 14 points on five field goals and four of seven shooting from the free throw line. No other Paola player scored in double figures, Nick Wilson was the next highest scorer with nine points, hitting one field goal and seven of eight from the free throw line. As a team, the Panthers hit 13 field goals and four three pointers, the Panthers hit only 52% from the free throw line on 12 for 23 shooting. Hayes was the only Panther to foul out of the game.

The Bears were lead in scoring by McClure with 23 points hitting seven field goals and nine of 12 from the free throw line. Austin Lewis also hit for double figures for the Bears with four field goals and five of eight from the free throw line for 13 points. The Bears were 21 of 33 from the free throw line for 64%

“We have to do the simple things that we can control,” Cash said. “We are way too easy to guard without good spacing.”

The Panthers return to action Thursday afternoon in the seventh place game at 3:30 p.m. at Eudora High School.


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