January 7, 2014

Am-Po girls grind out victory

Adam Troxtell
The Express-Star

AMBER — It wasn’t the most entertaining of encounters, but the Amber-Pocasset girls got the job done against Wayne at home in a 38-25 win on Tuesday.

Suzanne Parker led the way for the Lady Panthers (5-5) with 10 points, but Wayne’s Hannah Lack had the game high 11 in a game that was not for the attack-minded. Defense became all the more crucial as the minutes ticked down, and Am-Po was able to finish the night on top.

It was an even opening frame, with Wayne patiently waiting for their chances to score. Eden Powell provided a few of those outlets, sinking two quick jumpers from the elbow. Suzanne Parker helped her team keep pace with a few threes, while also doing some work down low to try and disrupt the Lady Bulldog defense.

One of those threes from Parker helped spark a second quarter surge for Amber-Pocasset. They opened up a lead with an 8-2 run. By halftime, Parker had eight and the Lady Panthers were up by seven. While much work was done on the offensive end, most of Am-Po’s solid play came on defense, where they held Wayne to just four second quarter points.

It was a slow third quarter, started by a Darcie Winn three to extend Am-Po’s lead. The only other points for the Lady Panthers came from a Haley Savage three. But with Wayne down by eight heading into the final three, the game had to open up.

The Lady Bulldogs did just that with a full court press, but they were unable to convert enough chances to mount a serious comeback. As the fourth quarter dragged on, Am-Po found themselves at the charity stripe all too often, especially in the final minute. It could have gone better, but it got the desired result.


Panthers grab third win against Wayne

Amber-Pocasset boys got a valuable win Tuesday by beating Wayne 55-31 on a night when it seemed no one could miss.

This was especially true for Tyler Miller, who led the floor with 20 points for the Panthers. Murphy Douglas followed his lead to put in 13 points. The win takes Am-Po to 3-7 and gives them a much needed boost ahead of the Grady County Tournament they host in just a few weeks’ time.

Miller couldn’t miss if he tried starting off. After opening the scoring with a pair of free throws, he made his next four three-pointers in a row, quickly taking Am-Po out to a big lead. Wayne answered with some long distance shooting of their own. Tyler Norton sank his first two threes of the night. By the end of the first quarter, though, Am-Po had built up an eight point lead.

The second frame was much closer, with Miller continuing to pull the strings on offense and Zach Fisher carving away at the land for Wayne. Fisher caused plenty of disruption in the Panther defense with a few quick drives. It got him four first half points, but the Panthers went into the break on top. Murphy Douglas used quickness to put in six straight points on fast breaks. Am-Po led at halftime 27-17.

Douglas continued his hot hand after halftime, with a few trips to the foul line and a jumper giving him a fast five points. Neither team could have been happy with their rebounding, especially on the defensive end. Both had multiple second or third chance shots, and Am-Po were able to use that more to their advantage.

Norton led the Bulldogs with eight points.