MINCO — Two teams ranked in the top 20 of Class 2A recently faced off on the basketball court.
The Minco Bulldogs and Amber-Pocasset Panthers met in Minco on Friday. Minco entered the matchup ranked fourth in 2A, and Am-Po entered the game ranked 17th in 2A. Despite being tested by the Panthers, the Bulldogs pulled away in the second half to earn a 67-52 victory.
Austin Carpenter helped the Panthers get out to a quick 6-0 lead over the Bulldogs. Carpenter ended the game with 12 points and scored seven of Am-Po’s first nine points in a 9-1 run to start the game.
The Panthers even went up by double digits in the first quarter after a pair of Tanner Croskey free throws gave them a 15-5 advantage. Am-Po held a 15-7 lead after the first quarter.
Skylar Croskey gave the Panthers an 11-point advantage early in the second quarter and led the team in scoring with 13 points.
But the Bulldogs began to work their way back.
Down 22-16, Minco went on a long scoring run and did not trail again after taking the lead on an Austin Brothers basket. One of Cooper Shirley’s four 3-pointers completed a 12-0 run that gave the Bulldogs a 28-22 lead.
An Am-Po triple cut the deficit to three, but Brothers gave Minco a 30-25 lead with another basket. Brothers was a spark for the Bulldogs throughout the game, finishing with 15 points.
The Panthers continued to hang around in the third quarter until Minco went on another long scoring run, scoring 11 points in a row. Another Shirley triple completed the run and gave the Bulldogs a commanding 50-34 advantage.
Shirley led all scorers with 26 points.
The game was not completely out of hand heading to the fourth quarter. Minco held a 50-37 lead after three quarters and was able to build on its lead in the fourth quarter.
Nick Burchfield was Minco’s third player with at least 10 points. He had 12 points in the win.
Am-Po fell to 7-3 and will play again Jan. 3 at Verden. The 8-0 Bulldogs will compete in the Cornerstone Bank Mustang Holiday Classic, beginning Thursday.