Caleb Riordan | Ameritime Sports Writer
The South Iron Panthers boys’ varsity basketball team toppled the Waynesville Tigers 81 to 42 on Tuesday.
This was a strong bounce-back performance for the Panthers. They came off just their third loss in the last calendar year. To the best of our knowledge, this is also the first time a MSHSSA Class One Basketball Team has beaten a team from Class Six.
The Panthers do not take long to get settled into the flow of a game. It was no different against Waynesville. They led 19 to 11 at the end of the first quarter. They built on the lead in the second in a big way. South Iron broke the game open and poured in 30 points in the second quarter. The Panther defense also locked in and only allowed four points. They led the Tigers 49 to 15 at the end of the first half.
Waynesville followed the dud in the second quarter with a solid third. They scored 16 points but couldn’t cut into the South Iron lead. The Panthers scored 17 in the quarter and went into the final eight minutes with a 35 point lead. South Iron outscored the Tigers 15 to 11 in the fourth to seal the deal. The Panthers won 81 to 42 and bumped their record to 6 and 2.
Jermarco Burse declared the team’s attitude and effort as a pivotal part of the win.
“We played with so much energy,” he said. “Our intensity on the defensive end was key for us and offensively we just kept finding each other and made the right passes. We played as one unit and I feel it makes us that much better when we play as a team.”
Five different Panthers scored in double figures. Drenin Dinkins and Burse led the team with 17 points each. Dinkins went 6 for 10 from the field and had four assists and five rebounds. Burse was a perfect 7 for 7 from the field and 3 for 3 from the free-throw line. He also had six rebounds. Luke Lunyou shot 3 for 6 from beyond the arc and had 15 points. Brock Wakefield had 14 points, five rebounds, four assists and two steals. DJ Prater had 12 points and shot 6 for 7 from the floor. He also grabbed six rebounds, had four assists and four steals. The Panthers also stayed much more disciplined with the ball this time around and only committed six turnovers. In the game against Vashon, they turned the ball over 18 times which heavily contributed to a comfortable Vashon victory.
“I thought we played pretty good, ” Champ McMurry said after the win. “We got better shots as a team and we still have a lot more to improve on, so that’s very exciting.”
McMurry cannot speak for the entire team, but it is safe to assume this Panther squad is starving for success. South Iron is going to continue to tear through teams who do not step up to the plate prepared. The humble squad from Annapolis, Missouri doesn’t care who you are when you step on the court with them. Their mission is clear, and everyone else is just in the way. The Panthers’ are the number one seed in the upcoming 65th Annual Bob Sechrest Jr. Central Christmas Tournament. There are 14 other teams in the way of the Panthers adding another tournament trophy to their case. The tournament starts on Saturday, Dec. 26.
Photos Courtesy of Brandy Dinkins