In a game that saw two Panther crowds dressed in blue and red, it was the Alba-Golden Panthers who beat the Bullard Panthers 63-39.
The A-G Panthers started off hot as their 1-3-1 half court zone defense stifled Bullard early as they scored just six points through the first six minutes of the game. Meanwhile A-G found some success inside as they scored 16 points during the same span giving them their first double-digit lead of the game.
A-G sophomore forward Jon Michael Chadwick had a great first quarter as he scored half his team’s points in the first frame. Chadwick repeatedly used his strength and size to post up smaller defenders creating easy scoring opportunities. The second quarter ended with A-G ahead 16-9.
In the second quarter Chadwick continued his solid play as he scored another five points midway through the quarter giving him 13 in the first half alone. However the Bullard Panthers who struggled to defend the basket in the first quarter had switched to a man-to-man defense. Arguably their man-to-man defense was even less effective as the A-G panthers would go on a 12-0 run in the second quarter as they led 28-9.
After back-to-back threes by each team A-G forward Zane Smith hit a shot as he drove across the lane to push the A-G lead back to 20 with the score at 32-12. A-G would take a 33-15 lead into the halftime break.
In the third quarter A-G forward Dawson Kirk dominated the offensive glass as he repeatedly beat Bullard defenders to lose balls on missed shots. Kirk would finish with a game high 16 rebounds to go along with 11 points. Dawson scored six of his 11 points in the third quarter alone.
When asked what the key to victory was A-G Head Coach Jeff Mason answered saying the dominance of his post players.
“We have several good posts. We just make an emphasis on working our offense inside out. It is a definite strength with (all of) our post (players being) tall, lengthy and they fight hard for position.” Mason said.
Towards the end of the third quarter Bullard began to cut into A-G’s lead. With the clock running down at the end of the quarter A-G senior Shawn Davis hit a deep buzzer beating three to give A-G a 22-point lead going in to the fourth quarter.
The A-G Panthers then went on to win the game 63-39 as the Bullard Panthers had no answer in the fourth. Chadwick finished the game with 20 points leading all scorers.
Mason said the team will be working on improving their chemistry amongst one another going forward.
“We need to keep getting better and playing together. It’s early in the season and we are still learning how to feed off of each other and still trying to get our offense and defense down. We are mostly working on fundamentals and conditioning this early in the season. I know our effort will always be there from what I saw versus Bullard. That will solve a lot of problems,” Mason said.
The Panthers will be back in action tomorrow when they open up the Farmersville tournament against Mabank High School.