Panthers finish first round of conference play at 5-0 by thumping Carterville

Dawson Yates scored a team-high 24 points for Pinckneyville in their win over Carterville on Thursday. (Doug Daniels Photos)

By Doug Daniels
1351sports.com / pinckneyvillesports.com

January 12, 2018

  (Pinckneyville, Ill.) - Pinckneyville completed the first round of Southern Illinois River-to-River Conference Mississippi Division play with a perfect 5-0 mark thanks to Thursday night's 67-33 drubbing of Carterville at Thomas Gymnasium. The Panthers forced 21 turnovers by the Lions and turned many of them into layups, which showed in their 65% shooting percentage on two-point buckets.
  Carterville, coached by former Pinckneyville Panthers Shane Hawkins, actually had the lead midway through the opening quarter of action at 8-7, but it wouldn't last for long. PCHS scored the next ten points, including a three-point play by Dawson Yates, who finished the night without missing a shot and scored a team-high 24 points.
  From the point that Carterville held the lead up until halftime, Pinckneyville outscored the Lions 38-4, forcing massive amounts of turnovers with their full-court pressure. The Panthers had 8 steals as a team, 3 of them by J.C. Moll, who joined Yates in double figures with 13 points, and also led PCHS with 6 assists.

  Devin Kitchen, a sophomore making his first varsity start, finished with 9 points. Grant Jausel had 8, Kyle Kreger had 8, and Kyle Luke, Noah Carter, Tyler Rice, Tanner Spihlmann and Dylan Houghland all finished the game with 2 points. Spihlmann led Pinckneyville in rebounds despite playing just over 12 minutes, grabbing 4 of them.
  Thursday's game was originally scheduled for Friday night, but the threat of winter weather and dangerous road conditions resulted in it being moved up a day.
  Up next for the second-ranked Panthers will be their annual trip to Rich Herrin Gymnasium for the week-long Benton Invitational Tournament. Pinckneyville begins play on Monday at 7:00 p.m. against Carlyle. They'll take on Sesser-Valier Wednesday at 7:00 p.m., Mounds Meridian on Friday at 8:30 p.m., and on Saturday meet Hamilton County at 1:00 p.m. and the host Rangers in the tournament finale at 8:30 p.m. Benton remains the only team to hand the Panthers a loss this season.

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© 2018-19 Doug Daniels Photography