• Doug Daniels

Panthers top Indians, Tigers to stay undefeated

Pinckneyville celebrates a buzzer-beating three-pointer by Tyler Rice. (Doug Daniels photo)

By Doug Daniels

1351sports.com / pinckneyvillesports.com

The Panthers were able to keep their unbeaten season going last weekend with a Friday night win at Du Quoin, 73-60, and a Saturday night triumph at Herrin, 81-35, during which sophomore guard Dawson Yates put in 22 points in both games.

Pinckneyville hit five first quarter three-pointers at Du Quoin on Friday night - three of them by J.C. Moll - and built a 24-10 lead through eight minutes of action.

The Panthers then battled through a hot shooting night by Indian Josh Heape, who had three threes in the second quarter to help Du Quoin stay within striking distance at half down 44-29.

A three-point play by Moll with 3:38 to go in the third quarter stretched the lead to 19 at 52-33, and a buzzer-beating three by Tyler Rice to end the period made it 60-42 Panthers heading to the fourth where the Indians were only able to put a dent in the gap.

"Very physical game, rivalry game, no easy baskets, no easy cuts, no easy rebounds," said PCHS head coach Bob Waggoner. "I thought we did a nice job of playing through all the contact. I think this game will teach our guys what to do when people face guard you or do different things."

Yates' 22 points came on a 7-for-10 shooting performance from the field and a 5-for-6 effort at the free throw line. Moll was hot as well, shooting 5-for-8 from the floor and 3-for-4 at the line for his 16 points. Kyle Luke (6 points), Rice (5), Grant Jausel (5), Tanner Spihlmann (5), Kyle Kreger (5), Grant Tanner (2) and Dustin Bartnicki (2) also scored for the Panthers at Du Quoin.

Yates shot even better at Herrin the following night, making 8-of-10 from the floor and 4-of-5 at the line and matching his 22-point effort from the Du Quoin game.

The Panthers were already up 9-4 near the midway point of the opening quarter when they exploded for a 25-0 run to put the game away early. PCHS led the Tigers 47-13 at the half.

"We just talked about not having a letdown after (Friday) night," Waggoner said. "Even though we won that game, I think there were some areas where we had some lulls, and we really just wanted to play with more energy tonight. We played a really complete first half. We really competed well, they couldn't get in their offense."

Moll (15 points), Kreger (11), Jausel (6), Devin Kitchen (5), Derek Rohlfing (4), Tanner (4), Rice (3), Noah Carter (3), Bartnicki (2), Dylan Houghland (2), Luke (2) and Hunter Clark (2) also scored for Pinckneyville at Herrin.

The Panthers (9-0, 2-0), voted No. 2 in the first Associated Press Class 2A Top Ten Poll of the season last week, will put their unblemished record on the line at home this Friday against Anna-Jonesoboro.

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