JV Panthers redeem themselves in 41-33 victory over Whitewater


Katie Linkner

A JV Panther dribbles the ball down the court. The JV Panthers defended their home court with a 41-33 victory in an increasingly aggressive game against the Whitewater Wildcats.

Dana Gould, A&E co-Editor

After facing a grueling defeat against McIntosh at their last game before holiday break, the JV Panthers redeemed themselves with a 41-33 victory against the Whitewater Wildcats. The Panthers played an aggressive game with many fouls called on both ends of the court.

“We took care of the ball a little better and didn’t panic when [Whitewater] pressed us,” head coach Kerry Evert said.

Sophomore Wesley Grant acted as one of the team’s key players contributing 12 points in the win. Rebounding well, staying strong defensively and offensively, and playing aggressively allowed the JV Panthers to defeat the rival Wildcats.

The game opened with a foul on the Wildcats and a significant amount of aggression, as seen through pushing and shoving on both sides of the court. Two minutes into the quarter Whitewater was up 4-2. The Wildcats’ lead didn’t last long as the Panthers were back on top with a 13-6 lead. At the end of the first quarter, the Wildcats had already racked up five fouls.

As the game moved into its second quarter, there was even more aggression, resulting in sloppy mistakes from both teams. After the initial back and forth that sets up every game, Starr’s Mill remained consistently ahead by a few points while Whitewater desperately tried to surpass their foe, managing only to stay close behind. As the second quarter progressed, it seemed that both teams were more concerned with the growing aggression and less about actually scoring points. The Panthers ended the first half with a 23-18 lead against the Wildcats, and both teams had eight fouls.

“I practiced a lot over Christmas break [which allowed me to get] better,” sophomore Wesley Grant said when asked what steps he took to improve his playing after the previous defeat against McIntosh.

At the start of the third quarter, it seemed that both teams had already used up all of their aggression and momentum. As soon as Whitewater scored the first points of the quarter, however, the mindless passing back and forth disappeared, replaced with a newfound aggression that rivaled the game’s first half. Frustrations on Starr’s Mill’s side of the court begwn to rise and the panic that defeated them halfway through the fourth quarter of the McIntosh game threatened to reappear. Fortunately for them, a pep talk from Evert put the Panthers back on the path to victory.

After a momentary lapse in confidence from the third quarter, the Panthers brought home a 41-33 victory after a much less intense fourth quarter.

“We have players that have specific positions and they play specific roles,” Evert said. “So [it depends] on what the other team is doing, who gets more of the shots.”

The Panthers played a great game as they not only brought home a victory, but acted as a team while doing so. A team that manages to improve defense, offense, rebounds, and teamwork all in a single game, is a team worth watching.

The JV Panthers play their next game today against the Fayette County Tigers at 4:45 p.m. at Fayette County High School.