Panthers wrap up Roundball Tourney with victory over Cyclones

  • Friday, January 3, 2014

Roger Lee/Journal Scene Jimmy Thomas takes a jumper for Pinewood.


The Pinewood boys’ basketball team notched a pair of victories over fellow SCISA teams during the 21st annual Rotary Roundball Classic Tournament.

The Panthers opened the tournament with a loss to Imhotep Institute Charter High School out of Philadelphia but bounced back to earn victories over rivals Charleston Collegiate and Porter-Gaud to improve to 8-7 on the season.

“Charleston Collegiate has had our number a little bit the last few times we played them so that was a nice win and of course it’s always nice to beat Porter,” Pinewood coach Pat Eidson said. “We’ve played a lot of good teams without two of our starters,so we are happy to be 8-7. That has helped a lot of our other kids get more experience so when we get those starters back hopefully we will be a pretty good team and get on a roll.”

Point guard Reid Radebaugh and post player Evan Schwartz have been out with injuries but the Panthers have fared well this tournament season. The wins in the Roundball follow a pair of victories at a showcase tournament at Wilson Hall and a runner-up performance at the Military Magnet tournament. There, the Panthers lost by 5 points to Wando in the championship game.

Pinewood opened the Roundball Classic Dec. 27 with a 55-28 loss to Imhotep. The Philadelphia team has several players who can score and they did just that. Led by Devin Liggeons and Basil Thompson with 11 points each, the team had six players finish with more than 5 points. Imhotep also outrebounded Pinewood 59-29.

Jimmy Thomas led the Panthers with 12 points and Ahmad Ray added 5.

Things were more even for the Panthers on Saturday as they handed Charleston Collegiate an 82-76 loss. Half of the Panthers’ points came in the paint and Pinewood got 23 points from its bench.

Pinewood had five players post double-digit scoring and outrebounded Charleston Collegiate 40-33.

Ray led the Panther offense with 20 points and freshman Michael Wright added 19 points. Gavin Williams finished with 12 points while Nick Gilliard finished with 11 and Jimmy Thomas with 10.

Austin McCray had 12 rebounds and Wright had 9.

Ty Solomon scored 23 points for Charleston Collegiate, which fell to 8-3 with the loss. Je’Quan Perry added 22 points and Arturo Mata 13.

The Panthers fell behind by 11 points early in their game Monday with Porter-Gaud, but rallied to earn a 39-36 win.

Thomas hit his second 3 of the game with 5:15 remaining to pull the Panthers within 3. Austin McCray hit a pair of free throws roughly a minute later to cut the lead to 1. With 1:58 remaining, he sank another free throw for a 35-34 Pinewood lead.

But the Cyclones (7-4) kept fighting and regained the lead.

In the closing minute, Williams made a steal and was fouled. His free throws gave the Panthers a 37-36 lead. Porter-Gaud continued to attack and nearly landed some shots, but Ray grabbed a key defensive rebound with less than 10 seconds remaining and was fouled. He hit both ensuing free throws to really put pressure on the Cyclones.

Porter-Guad’s KJ James got off a long shot at the buzzer, but it missed its mark and Pinewood ended the tournament on a good note.

Wright led the Panther scorers with 10 points while Thomas added 8 and Ray 7. Wright had 14 rebounds and Thomas had 7.

James led all scorers with 20 points while Michael Preddy added 7 for the Cyclones. James had 12 rebounds while Preddy had 11.

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