The Boys Varsity Basketball squad out of South Iron took one on the chin last week at home against Waynesville for just their third loss of the season, but they rebounded nicely on Thursday with a 66-52 win over the Kingston Cougars. The win got the Panthers back on track and improved their overall record to 19-3 on the season.
Things started off well for the Panthers in this one, but it wasn’t a cakewalk the entire way. A solid first half set the stage, but that just gave way to fireworks in the second set of quarters. Thankfully Jermartez Burse was around for South Iron to lean on their superstar leading scorer to help put this one in the bag.
The first quarter was somewhat of a timid affair with the Panthers taking a 14-11 lead after eight minutes of play, but a lead is a lead and they would use that slight three-point cushion to their advantage in the second. South Iron stepped up their game on both ends of the court and doubled up the Cougars 18-9 in the ensuing frame.
That gave the Panthers a healthy 32-20 lead going into the halftime break.
The visiting Kingston team was fired up after the locker room speeches though, as they came out with a vengeance in the third quarter. They outscored South Iron 17-11 and cut their deficit in half. Now down just six points, they had a chance to earn a statement win and hand the Panthers back-to-back losses for the first time this season.
Obviously, that pipe dream never came to fruition, as South Iron turned the dial to 11 and put this thing to bed in the fourth. They dropped 23 on the Cougars in what was the highest scoring quarter of the game, and held the visitors to just 15. That cemented the 66-52 victory and put the Panthers back in the win column after the briefest of all possible hiatuses.
Burse was a monster in this one, collecting a double-double with his game-high 29 points and 12 rebounds. He also had three assists, seven steals and went a perfect 9-of-9 from the free-throw line. Excuse the unintentional rhyme, but this was a performance that just chewed up boxscore space.
Sawyer Huff and Jermarquis Burse each had a dozen points and three steals apiece in the game to round out the top scorers.
The Panthers will look to start a new streak next Tuesday as they host Eminence for a chance to earn their 20th win of the season. Tip off is at 7:30, weather permitting.