Panthers Split Pair Over Holiday Break

The varsity basketball took part in two showcases over the holiday break and the Panthers came away with a split in the events.

The Panthers opened with a 67-45 loss to Napoleon at the Shot Clock Classic at Spring Arbor College.

The game was one of five games played with a 35-second shot clock. There is a push by high school coaches and fans to institute a shot clock by the MHSAA to push the pace of play and not allow teams to stall for long periods in a contest.

Napoleon came out hot as the Panthers fell behind 20-10 after one quarter.

The Panthers tried to fight back in the second with Drew Robinson hitting a pair of and-ones, but the Pirates were able to push the lead to 36-23 at the half.

David Kluesner scored six in the third, while Robinson and Keegan Collins scored three each as the Panthers cut the lead to 49-39 after three, but Napoleon would pull away in the fourth as the Panthers would score just six points in the final period.

Robinson finished with a team-high 15 points.

Collins chipped in with 10 points, while Kluesner had eight. Joey Ballagh scored three, and Hayden Ellsworth and Daniel Mahler two each.

The Panthers bounced back to beat Wyandotte Roosevelt 58-47 at the Carleton Airport Holiday Classic Thursday.

Jake Sawicki sparked the Panthers with nine first-half points as Stockbridge took a 23-22 lead into the half.

A big third quarter helped the Panthers build a 43-34 lead after three. Drew Philipp scored six, while Kluesner and Collins scored five each in the third to push the Panthers to the nine-point lead.

Clutch free-throw shooting helped the Panthers seal the win in the fourth. Stockbridge hit nine of 10 from the charity stripe to hold off Roosevelt for the win. Robinson was four of four from the line, while Philipp and Kluesner were both 2-2.

Kluesner finished with a team-high 18 points, including six in the final quarter.

Sawicki finished with 11 points and Philipp 10. Robinson and Ballagh scored six each, Collins five, Micah Bolton and Collin Cook one each.

The Panthers improved to 3-4 overall on the season. They have a pair of away games this week. They travel to Manchester Tuesday night and then to Chelsea for a doubleheader with the varsity girls team at 7:00 pm. The girls will tip-off at 5:30 pm.