Panthers catch fire against JT
The gunfight at the OK Corral is one of the most famous gunfights of all time and took place at Tombstone located in the Arizona Territory. Famous heroes such as Wyatt Earp and Doc Holiday became legends by shooting down the outlaws by the name of the McLaury brothers in just 30 seconds.
Last night the Panther Valley basketball team showed that they have a pretty good posse of shooters as well, hitting 11 three pointers en-route to a 57-39 Schuylkill League Division 1 victory over Jim Thorpe. PV's 11 team three-pointers tied a team record.
Earp and Holiday were no doubt two of the fastest guns of the Old West. Jake Szczecina showed onlookers last night that he just might have the fastest and most accurate gun in the Schuylkill League this season. However, instead of bullets Szczecina was firing three pointers. The junior guard hit six treys in the first two quarters, scoring 18 of PV's 30 points in the first half. Szczecina's hot shooting helped them gain a nine-point advantage going into the break.
"Those are the games that Jake is capable of having for us this year," said Panther Valley coach Pat Crampsie. "He carried the load there for us in the first half offensively and we certainly needed it with how we were struggling getting inside looks. It comes down to Jake just working really hard in the off-season. He worked on getting a quick release and also on his ball-handling. He's just becoming a better and more complete player as the season goes on."
The third quarter was not so kind to either team on the offensive end. The Panthers and Olympians could only muster seven points a piece in the frame. Jim Thorpe actually had opportunities to score and creep back into the game, but couldn't connect on some easy buckets inside. The JT offensive woes gave PV a nine-point lead heading into the fourth.
At the 5:57 mark in the fourth the Olympians made their best attempt to steal another win from the Panthers, closing within six. Back-to-back three-point plays by Thorpe's Khadir Lindsey helped them close the gap, but on the next possession the Olympian's defense would make a crucial mistake. Luke Stano was fouled as he drained a three-point field goal from the right corner, hitting the foul shot to extend the Panthers lead to 45-36 with 5:38 remaining. JT would score just three points the rest of the game.
"We had our opportunities in the second half, but that four-point play pretty much did us in," said Jim Thorpe coach Brian Carroll. "We have to do a better job of converting our short range shots down the stretch and turnovers played a big factor for us as well. It might not show on the scoreboard, but we did do some positive things tonight. Our kids are playing better basketball, so we just have to continue to get better as the season moves forward."
The Panthers win over JT was an important one, especially because the match-up between the two was the opening game of Schuylkill League Division 1 play. Thorpe edged Panther Valley by a point back on December 8th and the PV coaching staff and players knew that this game was almost a must win for them.
"Anytime you can get out to a 1-0 start in Division 1 is a good thing," said Szczecina. "We lost a tough one to them last week and we knew we had to come out and correct the mistakes we made in that first game. We're back to .500 now, sitting at 2-2, so it's just time to get back to work and hopefully carry this momentum into our next game."
Steve Romanchik added 15 for Panther Valley.
For Thorpe, Jaquan Brown scored a team-high 12 points.
Lindsey 3-3-6-10, M. Principe 1-0-0-2, Snisky 1-0-0-2, S. Principe 0-0-0-0, McElmoyle 0-0-0-0, Micciche 3-1-4-7, Brown 5-2-4-12, Everitt 3-0-0-6. TOTALS: 16-6-14-39.
Dubosky 0-0-0-0, Szczecina 8-7-8-30, Kusko 0-2-3-2, Levitt 1-0-0-3, Stano 2-1-1-7, Romanchik 5-4-6-15, Kerschner 0-0-3-0, Ferryman 0-0-0-0, Taras 0-0-0-0, Vermillion 0-0-0-0, Keo 0-0-0-0, Campbell 0-0-0-0. TOTALS: 16-14-21-57
Jim Thorpe 14 7 7 11 - 39
Panther Vy. 17 13 7 20 - 57
Three pointers: JT - Lindsey 1; PV - Szczecina 7, Stano 2, Levitt 1, Romanchik 1.