Panthers to play for GVVC tourney title
Thursday night’s 42-36 comeback victory over second-seeded Ballard, advanced the third-seeded Sheldon Panthers to the Golden Valley Vernon County Conference Tournament championship game.
Tip off for the title tilt is set for 6:30 p.m. today, at Miami (R-1) High School in Amoret.
The championship game with top-seeded Montrose is a rematch of last season’s Class 1 District 6 title game, where Sheldon’s season came to a close with a 48-39 loss.
Thursday’s victory was an excellent mental test for the Panthers, according to head coach Joel McDuffey. Sheldon trailed 34-26 entering the fourth quarter, before closing out the contest on a 16-2 flurry.
“Ballard came out with a good game-plan to try and keep us out of the paint, and worked hard on the defensive end to stick to their game-plan,” said McDuffey. “We got into early foul trouble with our guards and that made us a little tentative, and had us a little rattled.”
McDuffey said halftime adjustments focused on better shot selection and, how to better defend Ballard’s top post player.
“These boys did a great job of taking that and putting it into play,” said McDuffey. “There really is no substitute for the effort they put in as a team. Because of that, we were able to go on the 16-2 run and take control of the game.”
Also aiding the Panthers cause, was sophomore forward Brett O’ Connor’s timely 3-point shooting, and junior Matt Bogart’s accuracy from the charity stripe.
Bogart, who knocked down 4-of-4 free throws, finished with a team-high 10 points. Sheldon point guard Zavery Lamb, along with Bryce Lamb and O’Connor chipped in 7 points apiece, while junior guard Clayton Loyd added 6.