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Panthers take down district leader Celina in final seconds

By Griff Servati
Van Alstyne Leader
Tom Fowler seals the victory over Celina with his two last minute layups.

    Two former VAHS basketball stars were in the stands for the VAHS vs. Celina game. Panther fans who have been around a while will remember Jace Williamson and Landon Demasters' dynamic combination on the court. DeMasters, now the head coach of the Celina Bobcats, were in town with his district leading Bobcats, and Jace Williamson, a local student pastor, was supporting the Panthers and his good friend in the stands. 

    The matchup was a good one that was not determined until the final minutes of play.  DeMasters, game planned for the Panthers offensive threat in JJ Boling by having a defender face guarding him even when he did not have the ball. The blanket coverage limited his touches and scoring to only 11 points on the night. However, he still found a way to influence the game and the Panthers on to a victory.  

    Leading the Panthers to victory in the final minutes of play were two seniors, Nathan Henley and Tom Fowler. Carson Brown, the games leading scorer, was limited at the end of the game with leg cramps. With three minutes of the game remaining, Nathan Henley hit a big three-pointer to break the deadlock. But minutes later, the Panthers found themselves down by one after several one shot possessions on the court's offensive end. Boling drew the defensive pressure that would find Tom Fowler open streaking to the basket for the go-ahead pressure layup. Boling followed that with a defensive rebound, a quick outlet to Henley, who found Fowler streaking to the basket as the Panthers would go away with the 55-51 victory. 

    Scoring for the Panthers was: Carson Brown 20, Nathan Henley 11, JJ Boling 11, Blake Skipworth 9, and Tow Fowler 4.