The South Iron Panthers have a big week ahead of them with the Black River League Tournament kicking off, but the Boys Varsity Basketball team had to take care of a little business first. Last Friday the Panthers hosted Greenville, and the Bears didn’t stand a chance as the 78-49 final score would plainly state.
In their final tuneup before hosting the BLR Tourney, the Panthers took care of business for the 14th time this season, and they started out with a bang. Twos were wild in the first quarter, but that number clearly favored South Iron as they went up 22-2 after the first eight minutes of play. Greenville put up a better showing in the second quarter with a dozen points, but they couldn’t slow the Panther attack, as South Iron had their best offensive quarter with 24 points. That effort gave them a staggering 46-14 lead heading into the half.
There wasn’t much for the Panthers left to do but run out the clock in the second half, but they kept up the offensive production with a 19-point third quarter. The Bears made a go of it in that frame with a surprising 22 points, but the lead was so big for South Iron that it barely made a dent. The Panthers won the fourth 13-9 with accurate free-throw shooting and excellent clock management, and easily coasted to the 78-49 victory.
Head Coach Dusty Dinkins was proud of his boys, saying this about their effort, “We had a great start to the game. Focus and defensive energy enabled us to jump out to an early lead. Really pleased with almost a week layoff of how our team played. ”
The offense was obviously solid across the board, but the big three of Drenin Dinkins, DJ Prater and Champ McMurry really brought it in this one. Drenin led all scorers with 23 points, including going 5-of-9 from downtown, and had a team high seven assists. Prater had the team’s only double-double with 20 points and ten rebounds, and also led the Panthers with five steals and zero turnovers. McMurry didn’t turn the ball over either and was the only other player with double-digit points, as he managed 14.
It was a convincing win on all fronts and the Panthers are now primed to make a deep run in the Black River League Tournament. They are the top seed and already earned a first-round bye, so they get to watch the chips fall where they may before getting back to work in the semifinals on Thursday.
Good luck Panthers!