Allen JV 65, Van Alstyne 58
In most basketball games between evenly matched teams there will be multiple scoring runs in the contest.
That was certainly the case in the Allen JV-Van Alstyne game, which was played on Dec. 28 at the IN-N-Out Burger Tournament at Allen High School.
With each team coming off of a pair of wins to open play at the tourney, this one was a back-and-forth affair, especially over the first three periods.
Allen had a 9-0 run in the first half, but the Panthers responded with a 19-0 scoring run, taking a 33-29 lead to the halftime break.
Senior Michael Hensley had 12 points in the first half and junior Noah Boling scored nine, each sending in 3-pointers in the half.
The two players made 7-of-9 from the free-throw line in the opening half.
Hensley finished with 18 points in the contest and Boling had a dozen.
Senior Landon Pardee dropped in a 3-pointer in the first quarter, and finished with a season-high 14 points in the game.
Van Alstyne held its four point advantage at the end of the third quarter, going to the final frame up, 47-43.
Allen used its length and speed to wear down the Panthers late in the game.
Trailing by just three with just over a minute left, Allen blanked the Panthers with a 4-0 run to pull out the win.
Melissa 65, Van Alstyne 62
On Nov. 29, when these two teams played in Van Alstyne, the Panthers posted a 66-45 win over a very young Melissa team.
The Cardinals have grown up a bit now and they had just enough talent to pull out a 65-62 win in the final game of the 2016 Allen tournament.
The game started off looking like a 3-point shooting contest.
Senior Michael Hensley dropped in a shot from deep in the corner, then added a second 3-ball near the end of the first period. He finished with a season-high 23 points for Van Alstyne, and an all-tournament award.
Melissa had some 3-point shooters as well and Junior Castleberry and Matt Holloway each scored from deep in the opening period for the Cardinals.
Neither team could pull away on the scoreboard in this game, senior Landon Pardee was money on a pair of 3-balls early in the second quarter and Hensley put back an offensive rebound to keep the Panthers on top.
A Castleberry three and four makes from the free-throw line by Kaedric Cobbs of Melissa made it a 25-21 game at the halftime break, with the Panthers on top.
A huge blow to the Van Alstyne game came near the end of the half when Pardee went down with an ankle injury and did not return to the contest.
Pardee had scored 10 points in the first half,with a pair of 3-pointers, but it is his disruptive play on the defensive end that was missed the most.
Melissa took the lead early in the third period on 3-point shots by Cobbs and Holloway.
A Boling 3-pointer tied the game, 28-28, before sophomore Tyler Sperry got behind the Cardinal defense, catching a pass from Boling, to give the Panthers a 30-28 lead.
Melissa answered with a 12-1 run to take its largest lead of the game, 40-31.
Hensley connected on a pair of 3-pointers, one a corner shot, the second from the top of the arc. He then scored from inside the paint to put the Panthers back on top, 41-40.
Melissa kept coming back and Holloway scored 10 straight points for the Cards, two baskets coming from beyond the arc, to close out the third and open the fourth quarter.
Holloway’s second 3-ball gave Melissa a 50-45 lead.
Junior Julian Wilson stuck back an offensive rebound for Van Alstyne and junior Scott Taylor went down the lane to drop in the uncontested layup to cut into the Melissa lead.
The Panthers could never get all the way back, and with three minutes left the Cardinals held a 57-54 advantage.
A Castleberry 3-pointer pushed the lead to six before senior De’Angelo Alexander out muscled the opposition for a pair of inside baskets.
A pair of baskets by Hensley cut the lead to two, but the Panthers couldn’t close the gap and Melissa held on for the win.
Van Alstyne finishes 2-2 in the tournament and will host North Lamar in non-district action on Jan. 6.