Playing in the final home game of the season, the Pennfield Panthers took advantage of their hometown rims and tied a team record of 12 3-pointers in this win over winless Constantine.
Pennfield defeated Constantine, 81-57, in this Kalamazoo Valley Association boys’ basketball game on Tuesday to move to 9-8 overall.
“Coming into this game, I was a little worried,” said Pennfield coach Steve Grimes. “I didn’t know what to expect. I knew we were 8-8… but we are looking at a team that could easily have had a better record. We wanted to run the table and get ready for districts, and I think it showed [tonight].”
Pennfield started out strong from the field, hitting three straight baskets and going on an 11-0 run to start off the game. For Pennfield, guard Branden Rugg didn’t miss a shot in the first quarter as he scored eight points on three shots, giving the Panthers a 14-point lead.
“We shot well,” said Grimes, whose Panther squad shot 46-percent from the field, while also hitting 48-percent of the 3-pointers taken. “It started inside, and that was our game plan–we knew they (Constantine) didn’t have the size to stop him (Ryan Lowe).
“We got some guys that can score, but that’s not the problem. The problem is we need to improve as a defensive team–to improve as a defensive rebounding team.”
The Panthers, who pressed from the get-go and forced 11 turnovers, converted Falcon turnovers into points.
“I kind have been going with a short bench these last few games,” Grimes said. “But tonight I thought we needed to rotate more guys…. We kept the press pretty fresh [tonight], rotating guys in… and guys were not tired as a result.”
With the big lead, Pennfield looked to maintain the second half and outscoared Constantine, 33-28, after intermission.
“We were clicking on all cylinders tonight,” said Panther guard Jake Grimes, who had six assists to go along with his team-high 20 points. “It was fun to see everyone playing well and to the potential that we are capable of.”
Up next for Pennfield, the Panthers have three remaining road games.
“We have three games on the road, and our goal is to win them all,” said Jake Grimes. “Our goal is to go into districts with a lot of momentum.”
Besides Grimes, the Panthers had three other scorers in double-figures with Pennfield guard Ryan Howlett getting 14 points as Rugg had 14, including four 3-pointers, with Lowe getting a double-double by converting 11 points and ripping down 10 boards.