In the first of two meetings over the next three weeks, the Brandon Hall pressure proved too much for TCS to handle in game one. The cat fight was close for most of the first half, as the Panthers held just a 26-22 lead with two minutes remaining in the second stanza. The Cougars had a few apple turnovers in the final minutes and the Panthers took advantage, taking a 35-28 edge at the break. Coach Briggs spoke on the first half; “We played well defensively which we feel made BH have to work in the first half. On offense we were able to break their press which allowed for us to stay close. We hope to continue that but we have no chance if we throw the ball everywhere but to each other, like we did those final two minutes. We are lucky to be down just seven.”
Apparently, no matter what was said or done differently the second half, it was the Cougars’ fate to gift wrap early Christmas basketballs to the other team. Credit the Brandon Hall pressure; they never backed off and it took a mighty toll on TCS mentally. Turnovers came in bunches and as points came in waves, what was a close contest turned into a blowout. The Panthers went on to win 67-34 and the Cougars learned the hard way of why the simple things should not be taken for granted. TCS will have two days to work on the value of the pumpkin before taking it to another AAC rival, the Howard Hawks here on Friday night (11/15).
Reese Bentley led the team with 11 points and added some interior defense that made it tough for the Panthers to score in the first half.
Aidan Briggs played well defensively as well and added 9 points.
DJ Donaldson came up huge in the first half when his team needed baskets to stay even with BH. He ended with 6 points and added some boards.
Shane Hendrickson and Tim Mattioli were pests on defense, making it difficult for the Panthers to get to the basket in that first half.
Suroy and Richie