Like a tale out of mythology, the Fletcher boys basketball team commemorated their role in the first game inside Amber-Pocasset's new gym by presenting the crowd with a giant.
But there was no myth in what he did. Landon Beathard, all 6' 5" of him, had 16 points in the Wildcats' 54-26 rout of the Panthers, and it could have been so much worse. Beathard didn't even play in the fourth quarter, and was on the bench for a good portion of the second.
It all happened so fast. With the tall man in the middle, Am-Po had a tough time maintaining a solid defense and the visitors went up 10-0. The Panthers were clearly shaken, and that translated to their performance on offense. Austin Winfrey scored their first bucket with a free throw shot with 3:55 left in the first quarter.
Slowly but surely, Am-Po began to settle into the game. But neither team managed much in the second quarter. With Beathard on the bench, over five minutes passed before the first points in the second frame were scored. At the halftime buzzer, the scoreline read 28-5 in favor of Fletcher.
The second half was much more kind to Am-Po, although there was no sign of the game turning in their favor. Still, the efforts of Kaden Kennedy led the way for the Panthers in the form of seven points. Brandon Townsend added six as the shots began to fall. Winfrey, who started Am-Po's scoring, got five for the home team while Tyler Miller contributed four.
The shots also were still falling for Fletcher, who showed even without their star center they can punish teams from beyond the arc.