Brandon Collins came up big again. This time, though, without the drama.
The senior hit for 16 points —12 coming off 3s — to lead host Panas to a 51-39 win Wednesday over district rival Lakeland.
In a sense, the score wasn’t that close as Panas held a 20-point edge with a minute-and-half left and its bench on the court.
The game was a far cry from Panas’ come-from-behind, two-point win just days earlier. That one was won on Collins’s 3 with 30 seconds to play. That shot also gave the Panthers their first lead.
Wednesday, Panas never trailed, leading 12-7 at the end of one, 26-11 at the half and 39-20 and the end of three.
“Getting off to a hot start really helped,” Collins said, crediting the win to his team’s ability to box out the bigger Hornets and to Panas’ lack of turnovers.
Panas (9-8) rarely seemed fazed by Lakeland (8-9).
The only real run Lakeland made came midway through the third quarter.
Mike Morelli’s steal and two foul shots, Kevin Kretzschmar’s nice inside drive for a bucket and Nick Fazio’s inside score off a great Jack Harrison feed cut Panas’ lead to 28-19 with 4:15 left in the period.
Panas’ Justin Lee makes his way past Lakeland’s Mike Morelli during the Lakeland vs. Walter Panas basketball game at Walter Panas High School in Cortlandt Manor, Feb.4, 2015. Panas beat Lakeland, 51-39.
But then came that player again — Collins — who calmly restored order with a baseline 3.
Panas coach Shawn Sullivan also liked what he saw from David Reynoso and Jeremy Keefe, who both had six points, Reynoso’s on 3s.
“I saw what I see pretty much every day from them in practice. They finally put it into a game,” he said. Sullivan also pointed to Mike Evans’ work on the boards as big.
Fazio led Lakeland with 13 points.
“These games are huge for the kids,” Sullivan said of the rivalry. “It’s magnified like you’re winning 10 games at once or — and we’ve been on the other side — like you’re losing 10 games at once.”
Collins looked at the win as a potential springboard.
“Beating a school rival is one of the best feelings you can have,” he said. “We have a game tomorrow at Beacon. I feel if we can win that, we’ll have momentum going into sectionals.”
Games of the day:Jaleel Barr had 26 points and eight rebounds for Hamilton in its 67-43 defeat of Solomon Schechter. … Kylan Guerra had 22 points and five assists and Jordan Tucker had 21 points and seven rebounds in Stepinac’s 68-64 win at Holy Cross. The Crusaders were 13 for 15 at the line in the fourth quarter. … Kevin Tierney had 13 points in Irvington’s 47-37 win at Hastings. … Chris Maloney had 22 points as Pleasantville topped Valhalla, 58-45. … Luke McLaughlin had 27 points and Robert McWilliams added 23 in Tappan Zee’s 62-54 win over visiting Nanuet. … Wendell Brand had 15 points and Joey Good added 11 and seven assists as Sleepy Hollow won at Edgemont, 43-39. … Jamon Murray poured in 33 points in Tuckahoe’s 76-41 defeat of Palisade Prep. … A.J. Stokeley had 21 points and Sean Trenholm 16 as Ossining beat Beacon, 80-66. … Clark Academy’s Andre Carthorn had a triple-double (31 points, 11 rebounds, 11 assists) in his team’s 85-79 defeat of Children’s Village. … Anthony Maestri had 20 points in Somers’ 61-48 victory over John Jay. … Josh Alexander and Quinn Willman both had 16 points in Carmel’s 64-50 win over Ketcham. … Jamil Gambari poured in 27 points and Pierre Lys had 18 to lead Woodlands to an 80-58 win over Bronxville. … Zach Nolan hit for 17 points and Ryan Basso added 16 in Putnam Valley’s 71-36 win over North Salem.