Panther Vy. holds off Marian
Marian's Ethan Kuczynski (15) drives to the basket against Panther Valley's Jake Szczecina.
Rivals Panther Valley and Marian met on the opening night of the season and were involved in a tight contest heading into the final period of play.
As expected, their second meeting was just as intense as the two schools were tied heading into the fourth quarter.
But for the second time this month, Panther Valley used a strong fourth quarter to grind out a victory over the Colts, 50-48.
The Panthers utilized the long ball in the first half to keep the game tight heading into halftime as they trailed by two points. Nine of the Panthers' 12 first quarter points were thanks to three-point shots.
Marian found its offense in Anthony Agosti in the first half, as he scored nine points.
"We wanted to slow down Anthony Agosti in today's game," said Panther Valley head coach Patrick Crampsie. "He torched us in the first game for 26 points. He's a tough match up for anyone. He's aggressive and he has a nice shot."
The Panthers found success in switching to a fullcourt pressure defense in the third quarter, forcing seven Marian turnovers. They also held Agosti to just three second-half points.
"We thought we needed to change the tempo of the game a little bit," Crampsie said. "The half court game was working to their advantage and we needed to switch it up."
The Marian lead which was as large as six was erased. The game was tied up at 38 apiece in the final quarter.
"I really admired the fight of our team tonight. We haven't always responded well this year, but our kids didn't hang their heads especially when we were downthey got more aggressive," said Crampsie.
Panther Valley never trailed during the final four and a half minutes of play, despite five big fourth quarter points from Marian's Dom Mussoline.
The Colts couldn't capitalize on opportunities in the final minute of the game to take back the lead.
Marian was sent to the foul line twice within 10 seconds of actual game-time, but came up empty on three foul shot attempts.
The Panthers had a few big rebounds from Charles Nase and clutch foul shots from Jake Szczecina and Luke Stano to close out the game.
"I'm proud of my kids for getting a big win the day after Christmas and fighting to get the win today," said Crampsie. "We knew this was part of a huge stretch of games for us."
Kyle Ferryman was a standout on both sides of the ball, as he had 12 points in the contest. Jake Szczecina finished with 13 points, including being a perfect three for three from the foul line.
The Colts had solid contributions from Anthony Agosti (12 points), Mussoline (11 points) and Mike Vercusky (10 points).
Crampsie and his Panther are now two games above the .500 mark.
The Panther Valley coach was satisfied with the play of his Panthers during the contest which included 11 lead changes.
"The last two games our intensity and enthusiasm have been there," he said. "We knew coming into this game that it was going to be an absolute battle. Every time these two teams play it's never going to be easy. I'm proud of the way our kids played today."
An. Agosti 3-5-7-12, Karnish 1-0-1-2, Vercusky 5-1-4-11, N. Agosti 1-0-2-2, Kuczynski 4-1-2-9, Mussoline 3-2-3-10, Swetz 0-2-2-2, Wesner 0-0-0-0. Totals: 17-11-21-48
Dubosky 2-0-0-4, Szczecina 4-3-3-13, Keo 0-0-0-0, Kusko 2-0-0-5, Stano 3-3-5-10, Ferryman 4-2-3-12, Nase 1-2-2-4, Vermillion 1-0-0-2. Totals: 17-10-13-50
Marian 13 12 11 12 - 48
PV 12 11 13 14 - 50
Three-Pointers: Panther Valley - Szczecina 2, Kusko 1, Stano 1, Ferryman 2; Marian - An Agosti 1, Mussoline 2