Goshen avenges loss to Panthers, 56-37

Published 12:00 am Thursday, January 24, 2002

Sports Writer

GOSHEN – The Goshen Eagles boys basketball team withstood an early Georgiana run before taking control in the second quarter enroute to a 56-37 win Thursday in a Class 2A Area 2 battle. The Eagles’ win avenged a 77-75 overtime loss earlier this season to the Panthers and moved them to 4-2 in the Area and 12-4 overall.

Georgiana scored six straight points to end the first quarter to grab a 15-11 lead, but Goshen outscored the Panthers 45-22 the rest of the way to overcome a slow start.

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Kendaris Pelton scored eight points in the second quarter and Lionel Freeman added four as the Eagles held Georgiana scoreless until the 4:22 mark of the second quarter to take a 28-19 halftime advantage. After draining just under 50 percent of its shots in the first period, three-of-four from behind the arc, the Panthers hit just two-of-15 shots in the quarter and shot 28 percent for the half.

"We started hitting some of our shots from the perimeter and then we started hitting some inside baskets. Lionel Freeman and Kendaris kind of took over a little bit in the second quarter and we were able to get a sizable lead at halftime," GHS head coach Major Lane said.

The Panthers scored five straight points in the third quarter to cut the deficit to 33-24, but the Eagles ended the quarter with a 9-0 run, five coming from Averick Rogers and Wesley Wright’s putback with no time left to take a commanding 42-24 lead.

Goshen struggled shooting the ball for most of the night, shooting 39 percent from the field, including six-for-26 from three-point land, but the Eagles’ defense forced 16 Georgiana turnovers and a 28 percent shooting night to offset its lack of offense.

"Our kids gave a tremendous effort on the defensive end, played very intense and I thought that was a very decisive part of the ballgame. We’re playing better ball, but by the same token I want us to become a little more consistent."

Pelton lead the Eagles with 18 points and Rogers chipped in 10.

The Lady Eagles let a 10-point halftime lead slip away before rallying with a 23-point fourth quarter to knock off Georgiana, 57-47.

The Lady Panthers scored 12 of the first 16 points of the second half to pull within two with 4:00 to go in the third and grabbed a 35-34 lead after three quarters, but Goshen reestablished itself in the fourth, taking command with 2:55 left after a three-point play from Hope Wheeler to pull away for the 10-point win.

"We jumped out to that early lead and I don’t know if we came out in the third quarter a little overconfident or what, but we started playing sloppy and turning the ball over and let Georgiana back in the game. But we finally knuckled down in the fourth quarter and took control again and pulled it out," Goshen head coach James Pair said.

Goshen jumped out to a 14-6 advantage after the first quarter behind five points apiece from Ashley Miniard and Wheeler. The Panthers sliced the margin to 20-16 with 2:26 remaining in the first half, but Tyeka Jackson scored four of the final six points of the quarter as Goshen extended its lead to 10 at halftime.

The Lady Panthers missed 25-of-30 shots in the first half and committed 13 turnovers to help the Goshen cause. Goshen held Georgiana to 27 percent shooting for the game.

The Lady Eagles were outrebounded 43-30, with the Lady Panthers grabbing several second chance opportunities on the offensive end, and committed 24 turnovers in the game, but Pair thinks his team is turning the corner with its fourth win in the last five games.

"Little things are still biting us, turnovers and not seeing the floor real well and making some bad passes, but we’ve made great improvements. Four of the last five games, things have started working and coming together," Pair said.

Lekesha Cope lead a balanced Eagle attack with 16 points and eight rebounds. Wheeler followed with 15 and Miniard added 14 points and nine caroms. Jackson was the fourth Goshen player in double figures with 12.