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Arrows Shoot Down Panthers
J. C. Tilton

The TCN Panthers have hit a rough stretch in the month of December. The team has not been able to garner a win as of late. In the opening round of the Shawnee Holiday tournament TVS handed the North team a resounding defeat 62-43. So the North Panthers wanted to redeem themselves in the consolation bracket against Preble Shawnee would had lost to Trail 57-48.

A scrappy and determined TCN team took the court against a physically bigger Shawnee squad. They pressed the Arrows and played a half court zone in the first quarter. The Arrows tried a little half court trap of their own, but called it off. In the early going Shawnee had problems reacting to the press and gave up several turnovers. TCN took advantage and opened a 16-10 lead at the end of the first quarter. Shawnee was starting to find the range from outside, so TCN switched into a half court man to man defense and also stopped the press. Baumgarder hit shots on consecutive possessions before the end of the half to give the Panthers a 29-24 lead. The TCN defensive pressure had caused 13 Shawnee turnovers in the first half.

In the second half Shawnee closed to within one point, but North made a late quarter surge to go up 47-40. Derek Bailey of Shawnee went to work early in the 4th quarter. He nailed several shots to put Shawnee within one point of the Panthers. At the midpoint of the quarter Tim Moore picked up his 4th foul. But that did break the Shawnee momentum as they drew close, exchanged leads, and finally pulled ahead of the Panthers. With a minute left Shawnee was up 56-53. North had their chances to battle back for the lead, but turnovers and miscues foiled their efforts. It was a huge effort for the Panthers, but they fell short 60-54.

Coach Waggoner was interviewed after the game, “I thought we played harder tonight. We came out with more fire than we have. It was the first time since the first week of the season that we weren't down at least 10 points in the first 10 minutes of the game. We talked about being ready to play, and I thought that we were”. At the end of the second half “We had some looks that we didn't make, we could have busted out our lead to 10 or 12, but we didn't”. Asked about the 4th quarter he responded, “There at the end we had some opportunities, but we missed a layup. In a close game it comes down to a play here, a rebound there, and then they hit a few shots. Then we had a couple of bad turnovers - we had three over and backs this game. The little things continue to kill us. They were physical... we have got to be stronger”. However he was pleased that the team was aggressive early and made things happen. He thought that Dan Baumgarder stepped it up and that Mitch Heltsley had a good game.

Scoring for TCN: Dunham 5, Baumgarder 16, Putnam 2, Mullins 3, Blankenship 8, Heltsley 20. Shawnee: Berry 20, Gamble 5, Moore 9, English 4, Bailey 22. Comments:

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