Maplewood’s Bo Hodges had to sit out the entire second quarter and part of the third Friday night due to foul trouble during the Panthers’ home game against M.L. King.
Overall, however, it was a very good day for the junior.
Hodges scored a game-high 15 points to help the Panthers clinch the District 10-AA regular-season title with a 55-43 win.
It came on the same day he was selected as a finalist for Class AA Mr. Basketball. To cap it off he joined Maplewood’s 1,000-point club.
“It’s been a great day,” Hodges said.
Hodges picked up three quick fouls in the first quarter and had to sit, but the Panthers jumped out to a 14-10 lead behind eight first-quarter points from Craig Blackshear, then held the Royals to just six points in the second quarter to take a 22-16 lead into halftime.
“That’s the rust from all that snow,” Maplewood coach Tyron Wilson said of Hodges’ early foul trouble. “We hadn’t had a chance to really practice and it sort of hurt us a little bit.”
The Royals (15-11, 9-4 10-AA) turned it on in the third, stringing together a 16-point quarter, but the Panthers (18-4, 10-2) were able to match it and keep a six-point lead heading into the fourth.
MLK scored the first bucket of the fourth and trimmed the deficit to four, but the Panthers scored 17 points in the final quarter to seal the deal.
Hodges scored 11 of his 15 points in the second half to help Maplewood pull away.
“Basically our guys just got outmuscled,” MLK coach Brent Burns said. “Rebounds, loose balls, they got them all.”
The District 10-AA tournament begins Tuesday.
The quarterfinals will be held at the higher seed’s home court. The semifinals and finals will be held at Lipscomb, and the finals are scheduled for Feb. 23.
Reach Sam Brown at 615-259-8232 and on Twitter @SamBrownTN.