Panther Boys Fall On Senior Night

The Panthers held Orion to 42 points but their lack of offense cost them.
Read More

Don Kuhnen, AP Sports

The EP Panther boys tried again Friday night to avenge an early season loss but were unable to beat Orion falling 42-37 on Senior Night. Seven current Panthers are playing their last season before graduating and all saw playing time at the Erie gym in front of a big crowd with a lively student section. Orion had defeated the Panthers in December at Orion 51-37.

Both teams started slowly offensively and Michael Collins layup at the four minute mark was EP’s first basket and they trailed 5-2. The opening 8 minutes concluded with the Chargers leading 13-6. The Panther’s 2-3 zone defense was stellar in the second quarter and held Orion to only 8 points while the tandem of senior big men Collins and Caleb Naftzger had 16 of EP’s 18 points which closed the gap to 21-18 at halftime.

Orion led 28-19 at the 3 minute mark of the third when EP mounted a little comeback as Collins offensive put back was followed by Noah Wiseley drawing his second charge from an Orion player. Naftzger’s short turnaround jumper closed the third quarter scoring with Orion on top 28-23.

It was 32-25 Orion at the 5:30 mark when Senior Jack Minssen hit back to back 3 pointers that ignited the crowd and brought the Panthers within one at 32-31. EP was never able to take the lead as a couple of missed open shots and Orion converting their free throw chances closed the deal.

Coach Ryan Winckler saw the Panthers miss a chance to take another step forward on the season. ”We dug ourselves to big of a hole early and had too many mental mistakes to get over the hump. Our defense was outstanding holding them 42 points but 14 turnovers hurt us and we had too many open shots not go down to make the comeback.“

Collins was the only Panther in double digits with18 while Naftzger added 9 and Minssen 8.

The 6-13 Panthers are back at it tomorrow morning at 10:30 in the Eric Ottens Fulton Shootout playing Prince of Peace.

The sophomore Panthers fell 48-31 to Orion and play in Fulton at 9AM Saturday.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Thank You for Contacting AroundPtown!

We have received your message and will be responding soon.

Skip to content