Panthers survive slow start, blow out Anna-Jonesboro, 63-30

Dawson Yates led the Panthers with 15 points. (Doug Daniels photo)

By Doug Daniels /

December 26, 2017

  (Pinckneyville, Ill.) - The Panthers scored just five points in the opening quarter of play last Friday against Anna-Jonesboro, but found their groove in the game's final 24 minutes and ran away with their tenth win of the season and remained unbeaten with a 63-30 victory at home over the Wildcats.
  A-J jumped out to an 8-3 lead while Pinckneyville was uncharacteristically cold from the three point line. The lid would come off the home team's basket shortly thereafter, though, as PCHS got a three-pointer from Kyle Kreger less than a minute into the second quarter to tie the game. Kreger sank another one moments later to give the Panthers the lead, and things would only go downhill for the visiting Wildcats from there.
  As Pinckneyville's defense held the Wildcats scoreless for a stretch of almost eight minutes, two buckets from Dawson Yates extended PCHS's lead to 15-8. By halftime, the Panthers had stretched it out even further, taking a 22-12 advantage into the break.
  Pinckneyville matched their entire first half output in the third quarter with 22 points, then put the exclamation point on it with a 19-5 fourth quarter.
  "I thought Anna did a nice job of controlling tempo and doing some things our guys aren't used to, and I think early on some guys missed shots and let it effect our defense," said PCHS head coach Bob Waggoner. "At halftime we talked about our effort and adjusted some things, I thought we came out with a little more energy and got after it."

  As usual, the Panthers got balanced scoring throughout their lineup with seven players scoring at least five points. Yates had the hottest hand, shooting 6-for-10 from the field for a game-high 15 points. Grant Jausel was also in double figures with 11.

  Tyler Rice (9 points), Tanner Spihlmann (8), Kyle Luke (7), Kreger (6), J.C. Moll (5) and Devin Kitchen (2) also scored for Pinckneyville. Rice and Spihlmann each grabbed 5 rebounds, Luke had 2 steals and 2 blocks.

  The Panthers (10-0, 3-0) will end a week off this Friday when the 11th annual Duster Thomas Hoops Classic begins in Pinckneyville. PCHS starts their quest to defend their DTHC title from a year ago with a 9:00 a.m. matchup with Roxana, then takes on Olney later Friday night at 7:00 p.m.


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