Unfortunately for Panthers, it was three-pointer by West St. Mary’s Jontrey Tillman with just 24 seconds remaining in overtime that cost Panthers the game as the West St. Mary Wolfpack defeated the Panthers 50-49 in District 6-2A action.
“We had our chances,” head coach Benny Dronet of Delcambre said following the game. “When number three (Tillman) hit that three from NBA range we still had an opportunity to win the game.
‘They hit the big shots when they had to and we didn’t. Had he missed the three-point shot, we could’ve gotten the rebound and held onto the ball. We could’ve won the game from the free-throw line.”
Delcambre’s Jake Dore and Danson Solomon help build the Panther lead to 14 points with each player hitting three three-pointers to take a 32-18 lead at intermission. But, the Wolfpack made some adjustments at half proved to be the difference in the game.
Coach Sanders changed from a zone defense to a more aggressive man-to-man defense to open the third quarter. The results were immediate as the Wolfpack opened the second half by out scoring the Panthers 17-9 to cut the deficient to 39-35 at the end of the third quarter.
“We opened the game playing zone,” head coach Donald Sanders of West St. Mary said following the game. “We gave them too many open shots and they were hitting them.
“We knew we needed to put more pressure on them so at halftime we switched to more aggressive man-to-man defense.”
The Panthers built a six point at 41-35 in the opening minutes of the fourth quarter. However, the Woldpack’s Glenn Marsh hit a three-pointer for the Wolfpack to tie the score at 41-41 with 4:35 remaining in the game. Marsh also connected on two free throws to give the Wolfpack a brief 43-41 lead.
In the end, it was the Tillman’s moment as he sealed the deal with the three-point bucket in overtime.
“We were able to spread the court on them in the first half,” coach Dronet said. “They’re (West St. Mary) a good team. I’m proud of my team’s effort, but I have to give them credit. If “3” (Tillman) hadn’t hit the shot it could’ve been a different outcome.
“It was a great game. It’s a shame someone had to lose. But, we didn’t handle the ball as well as we should have and West St. Mary started hitting their shots.”
Coach Sanders agreed with coach Dronet’s assessment.
“This (game) was a tough one, a really tough game,” coach Sanders said. “We came out flat. We didn’t play good offense and we didn’t play good defense. I knew we had to take it to them in the second half.”
Miles Francis led the Panthers in scoring with 12 points. Dore and Solomon scored 10 and 11 points respectively.
Marsh led the Panther’s scoring attack with 16 points.