BY ALEX GRUBERMAN
O’FALLON – After losing their last four games, the Panthers seemed to have found the one game on their schedule that gave them some loving. The Panthers were back in action on Valentine’s Day against a struggling Granite City team. Granite City has won only one game this season and has not defeated a single conference team yet this season. In their last meeting, the Panthers thrashed the Warriors 84-37. Could the Panthers snap their four-game losing streak and get back in the win column?
Both teams struggled early in the first quarter with passing and shooting. Turnovers were going to be a key factor in this game. The Panthers would outscore the Warriors 11-10 in the first quarter and by the start of the second quarter, the Panthers were starting to heat up. Baskets were falling for the Panthers at an alarming rate, at one point I think a fan was calling for a fire extinguisher because everyone was on fire.
The Panthers defense also stepped up in the second quarter holding the struggling Warriors offense to eight points. The Panthers had a commanding 32-18 lead at halftime.
You would think with the break in between quarters the Panthers offense would cool down, but they proved the hometown fans they weren’t stopping. The offense recorded 22 points in the third quarter while holding the Warriors to 12 points.
In the fourth quarter, O’Fallon Head Coach Brian Muniz decided to rest some of his starters. After the final buzzer went off, O’Fallon came away with a 63-44 win over Granite City, snapping their four-game losing streak and finally recording a home victory this season.
On Friday night, the Panthers headed to East St. Louis to take on the Flyers. In their previous meeting this season, the Flyers took care of the Panthers 72-58.
After coming off a victory Tuesday night, the Panthers were looking for a little revenge and continue their winning streak. However, it is tough to beat East St. Louis and even tougher to win on their home court. The Flyers came out shooting in the first half and it seemed like it was going to be a tough game for the Panthers defense. At half, the Flyers had a double-digit lead, and in the second half, the Flyers continued their dominance over the Panthers defense.
The Panthers fell to the Flyers 90-53, which puts the Panthers overall record to 14-11 and 5-7 in conference play.
The Panthers will wrap up their regular season with a home match against the always tough Edwardsville Tigers and finish the season on the road at Alton on Saturday February 25th.