“I really thought we could go 3-0 last week. We went 1-2. We’ve just got to be better than that,” Austin said Tuesday morning.
The Panthers hosted Cedar Bluff on December 10 and won 66-35. Spring Garden led 28-12 after one quarter and 49-21 at halftime. Jay Prater led the way with five 3-point baskets. All 17 of Prater’s points came in the first half. He also had six rebounds.
“We had seven different people score in the first half so it was kind of spread out outside of Jay,” Austin said. “We played a lot of people in the second half.”
Jacob Black and Will Westbrook also scored in double figures for the Panthers. Black had 13 points and four rebounds while Westbrook had 12 points and eight boards. Point guard Will Ivey had 10 assists, eight points, five rebounds and two steals. Tanner Parker also scored eight points. Dakota Lambert had six points and Dawson Broome scored two points.
At Anniston Friday, Faith Christian edged Spring Garden 58-57. The Panthers led 15-9 after the first quarter then trailed 28-25 at halftime.
“It was a combination of some bad defense and them getting hot,” Austin said. “We didn’t play well. We missed so many easy shots, it was unbelievable.”
Against Faith Christian’s zone, Prater was 9-for-17 from outside the arc and scored 30 points. He also had six rebounds. Parker scored nine points. Will Ivey had seven points, six assists and four steals. Westbrook garnered 10 rebounds and scored four points. Black had five boards and three points. Broome score two points and Ben Ivey had two points.
Another anemic second quarter was the difference in a 55-48 loss at home to Sand Rock Saturday night. The Panthers led 13-11 after one quarter then trailed 35-28 at intermission.
“We just couldn’t get over the hump. We got behind in the second quarter and played them even the rest of the game,” Austin said. “We couldn’t do anything special and they couldn’t do anything special. It was just kind of a slugfest the rest of the game.”
Will Ivey led the scoring with 16 points and also had three assists and two steals. Parker was 4-for-7 from behind the line and ended with 14 points. Westbrook recorded eight points and five rebounds and Prater also scored eight points. Black finished with two points.
An 87-19 area win over Gaylesville Monday at home got the Panthers on the winning track again. The score was 57-8 at halftime. Spring Garden’s starting five played most of the first quarter and the first two minutes of the second quarter then retired for the remainder of the game.
All 10 Panthers scored. Eighth-grader Riley Austin had six 3-pointers and ended with 20 points. He also had four steals, three rebounds and two assists. Prater was 5-for-7 from long range in very limited minutes and had 15 points. Black scored 10 points. Will Ivey had nine points, five assists and four steals. Lambert recorded nine points, seven boards and six steals. Broome scored eight points and Parker had six points. Joe Rogers had four points and five steals. Westbrook ended with three points, three assists and two steals. Ben Ivey had five assists and three points.
Spring Garden entertained area opponent Coosa Christian last night, looking to improve to 3-1 in area games. The Panthers meet Glencoe Thursday in the first round of the annual Cherokee Invitational tournament. The game begins at 7 p.m. at the Gadsden State-Cherokee arena in Centre.