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Panthers enter district play with an overtime win

By Griff Servati
Van Alstyne Leader
J.J. Boling floating to the basket in the district win over Anna.

The Panthers traveled to Aubrey for their first game in district competition. The game was tight throughout and would need extra time to be decided. Carson Brown, one of the leading scorers for the Panthers, was hampered by foul trouble throughout the game. It was not until the third quarter that his points passed the number of fouls he had picked up. The majority of his foul calls were on offensive charge calls going to the basket. 

The Panthers looked to take control of the game in the fourth quarter when they led by ten points with six minutes to play. But in basketball, things can change quickly, and within two minutes, the Chaparrals had erased that lead with a 9-0 run. 

Tom Fowler getting points in the win over Anna.

The game again was tied with one minute left to play. That is when Van Alstyne entered a corner passing stall offense to get the last shot. Not only did they get the final attempt, but three of them from point-blank range as the clock ticked down to the end of regulation. It was a hard-fought game that was illustrated that J.J. Boling played the entire final quarter and overtime with cotton in a nostril due to a bloody nose. 

There was no scoring in the four minutes of overtime until Carson Brown hit a three-pointer halfway through the overtime. In the final minute of play, JJ Boling had a steal that resulted in a Tom Fowler fast-break layup to go up to five. Boling would then follow that possession up with a blocked shot that led Nathan Henley to hit two free throws. Then Carson Brown would add two more points via a technical foul on Aubrey. The Panthers had a 9-0 run in the final two minutes of overtime to pull away 69-60. Scoring for the Panthers on the night were JJ Boling (22), Carson Brown (16), Tom Fowler (11), Nathan Henley (8), Kade Ramer (7), and Blake Skipworth (5) 

The Panthers hosted Anna after coming off of the Christmas break. The district matchup featured Anna coming into the game with a 2-0 district record. The Panthers would prevail by the score of 64-51. The Panthers pulled away in the second quarter to a sixteen point lead. Anna would cut into that lead, but it would not get below a seven point lead throughout the game. 

Nathan Henley getting two of his fifteen points on the night.

A bright spot for the Panthers was the play of its two seniors. Nathan Henley would use his slashing ability to get to the rim and hit shots from range to add up to 15 points on the night. Tom Fowler, the Panthers' defensive specialist, would give some of Anna's best offensive players trouble throughout the game. 

Scoring for the Panthers were Carson Brown (22), J.J. Boling (16), Nathan Henley (15), Blake Skipworth (6), and Tom Fowler (5). 

The Panthers move to 2-0 in district play and will travel to Melissa on Friday. The New Year's Day district game will see the Panthers varsity tip-off at 3:30 pm.