Panthers escape Newell-Fonda with 58-56 OT win
NEWELL - Depending on the quarter you checked in, the St. Mary's boys looked like they could be on their way to a blowout win, or handed a loss from a scrappy Newell-Fonda team Friday night in Newell, but the reigning conference champions found a way, leaning heavily on Luke Lenhart, as they escaped with a 58-56 overtime victory.
The Panthers came out as the aggressor Friday, rolling up an 18-4 lead after one quarter of play. Things got sloppy in the second, however, as the Mustangs pressured them into turnover after turnover, clawing back within 28-22 by the halftime whistle.
"We started strong on both ends," said St. Mary's head coach Brad Wilkening. "Then we had lapses on both ends of the floor. Second half we struggled on both ends.
The Panthers started the second half strongly, opening up a 33-22 lead, but N-F again began pecking away at the deficit, closing within 39-34 by the end of the third, before turning in a 17-12 fourth quarter to force overtime.
A Brady Bohe three gave the Mustangs the early lead in the extra frame, but St. Mary's sophomore Josh Demers came up clutch with his only field goal of the the night, a three, to level the score. Lenhart would then close out at the line after a Panther steal.
Lenhart scored 21 of his game high 27 in the second half and extra frame. He was 8-of-14 from the floor, 2-of-2 from three and 9-of-12 at the line. He added six rebounds and five steals. Kennedy Drey followed with 12 points, 10 rebounds, three assists and three blocks. Joe Sandhoff had 11 points and five steals, Dillan Smith had four points, four rebounds and four assists and Demers had four points and a rebound.
St. Mary's hit on 22-of-39 for the night, compared to 17-of-44 for Newell-Fonda. The Panthers held a 26-21 rebounding edge.
Dalton Anderson led Newell-Fonda with 18 points, five rebounds and seven steals. Dillon Anderson had 10 points, Bohe had nine and six rebounds, Rigo Johnson had nine, three rebounds, four assists and four steals, and Andrea Temple had four points and seven rebounds.
The Mustangs drop to 0-2 on the year and visit Laurens-Marathon tonight. St. Mary's sits at 2-0 and will host Graettinger-Terril/Ruthven-Ayrshire tonight.