DENISON - In hopes of an elongated postseason run this year, St. Mary's head coach Brad Wilkening and the 8th-ranked Panthers scheduled an amped up out of conference slate, with one such contest being at Class 3A Denison-Schleswig Saturday night.
The two-class size difference didn't seem to face the Panthers much as they outscored the Monarchs 40-17 over the final two quarters for a 65-41 victory that moved them to 7-0 on the season.
"The first half was touch and go," said Wilkening. "We ended up 25-24 but had too many turnovers and missed opportunities. The third quarter, we came out and played great defense, rebounded well and shot well to outscore D-S 20-6. We continued to put together our best half of basketball so far to outscore D-S 40-17 in the second half. This was a great team effort."
Leading the Panthers, Kennedy Drey nearly totaled a triple-double as he was 8-of-11 from the field for 17 points, nine rebounds, seven steals and three blocks. Connor Richardson followed with 12 points, eight assists and eight steals, Andy Drey had 11 points and eight boards, Luke Lenhart had 12 points and four assists, and Nate Lenhart had six points and eight rebounds.
The Panthers held a 32-23 edge on the glass and hit on 24-of-43 from the field and 14-of-18 at the foul line. Matt Reitz led the Monarchs (3-4) with 19 points and five rebounds.
St. Mary's has one more contest scheduled before the holiday break as they host undefeated Kingsley-Pierson (6-0)tonight. Colin Henrich leads K-P with 17 points and 5.8 assists per game.