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Panthers shoot down Weatherly

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    Mason Gerhart (10) of Weatherly looks for an open teammate as Panther Valley’s Anthony Fatzie (11) and Shawn Hoben (20) defend. RON GOWER/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS

Published December 13. 2019 01:16PM

The Panther Valley boys’ basketball team was an unruly guest in the house of the Wreckers Thursday evening.

That’s because they stole the thunder, the lightning, and the basketball game, too.

Indeed, the Panthers looked like they were in midseason form, rolling to an impressive 74-52 non-league win over Weatherly

What’s next for Panther Valley? A run at the Schuylkill League Division I title? Maybe not. But after capturing back-to-back Schuylkill Division 3 titles the last two years, the Panthers at least seem like they have the ability to make some noise after their move up to play with the league’s big boys this season.

This Panthers’ team can shoot it from all over, and balance is there too. Three players were in high doubles, led by jumping jack Aaron Gutierrez, who buried 27 points, including five triples. Add in 18 from Brandon Stilitino and 16 from cool hand Erick Marchorro, and that’s a load for opposing teams to worry about.

“These kids have experience playing for us the last couple of years,” said veteran PV coach Pat Crampsie. For sure, the Panthers have been on the upswing lately, and the names are familiar ­— although not household just yet.

“These kids have been in our program, they may not have been (starters) but they know each other,” added Crampsie. “We’ve got pretty quick kids, we’ve got unselfish kids, and we play for each other.”

The Panthers are not very big, with Gutierrez standing tallest at 6-0. Yet this team can get up and down the court, and can shoot it from across the river — the 11 triples in last night’s game is proof of that.

“Our players did all the offseason work, they’ve been dedicated as all heck, they had a great preseason, and it’s good to get off to start like we have,” said Crampsie about his team’s 3-0 opening week.

The Panthers were wheeling and dealing over the last minute of the first quarter when they made the first of a number of runs, going from a 15-12 lead to a 20-12 advantage. Gutierrez nailed six points in that run, and Stilitino matched that with a pair of long range treys.

The Wreckers were coming off a season-opening win on Tuesday, but hardly had answers for Panther Valley. The only threat they managed came on the superb play of 6-5 junior Ethan Broskoskie, who knocked down 12 points in the first half, including a pair of free throws with 3:50 remaining in the second quarter that made it a manageable 29-23 score at the time.

But in a flash, the Panthers extended the advantage 40-29 at the break, and the big concern for Crampsie was how his team would respond on the Wreckers home court to start the third quarter.

“I was concerned, I really didn’t know how strong we would come out, but obviously we did a great job,” Crampsie said.

After Weatherly’s Scotty Zoscin nailed his first and only triple to make it a 49-38 game, Panther Valley started to kick up its heels and blitz the Wreckers. The Panthers would go on a 16-0 run to blow the game open thanks to a monster quarter from Gutierrez, who had three triples and two deuces in the rally.

“It’s a good win for us,” said Crampsie. “It’s been a nice start to the season.”

ROLLING … The Panthers’ average margin of victory during their 3-0 start is over 34 points a game.

LET ME COUNT THE WAYS… The Panthers held a 39-33 rebounding edge. Gutierrez led PV with 12 boards for an impressive double-double. Broskoskie, Zoscin and Antonio Colecio all had seven rebounds for Weatherly.

TIED … The JV game ended in a 47-47 tie. Frank Willis poured in 13 points, while teammate Luke Derr added 10 for Weatherly. PV was led by Ben Kindt’s 17.

PANTHER VALLEY

Gutierrez 11-0-0-27, Stilitino 5-4-4-18, Marchorro 6-3-4-16, White 2-0-0-4, Krapf 1-0-0-3, Hood 1-0-0-2, Hoben 0-2-2-2, Eidle 0-2-4-2, Pascoe 0-0-0-0, Hodley 0-0-0-0, Roig 0-0-0-0, Juracka 0-0-0-0. TOTALS: 26-11-14-74.

WEATHERLY

Broskoskie 5-2-3-12, Zoscin 3-2-2-9, Gerhart 4-0-0-9, Colecio 2-2-3-7, Obert 2-1-2-5, E. Derr 2-0-0-5, Tomkins 1-0-0-2, Solonoski 1-0-0-2, Lowman 0-1-2-1, Ramirez 0-0-0-0, Willis 0-0-0-0. TOTALS: 20-8-12-52.

Panther Valley 20 20 27 7 – 74

Weatherly 12 17 10 13 – 52

Three-pointers: PV – Gutierrez 5, Stilitino 4, Marechorro 1, Krapf 1. W - Zoscin 1, Colecio 1, E. Derr 1, Gerhart 1.

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