The Brusly Panthers boys basketball team went into last Friday’s game against University Lab with a tremendous amount of confidence and it showed.
Both teams were 2-0 in District 6-3A play going into the game and knew it would be a tough battle. A tough battle it was, going well into the fourth quarter when the Cubs were able to finally pull ahead and take home the 59-50 win.
“We were playing tough the whole game. Coach Loupe told us we had to be the smarter and more physical team,” sophomore guard Nick Penell said. “We had to come out and be aggressive, and we were neck and neck with them almost until the end.”
The Cubs scored first but by the end of the first quarter the Panthers were behind by just one basket. Brusly matched UHigh basket-for-basket in the 2nd, going into halftime behind by just three with a 30-27 score.
“We were playing hard and making the plays,” senior center Darryl Jones said.
Brusly kept up their momentum in the third quarter and outscored the Cubs 13-10 thanks in no small part to the Panthers’ Chris Williams who bucketed three three-pointers.
Jalen Forest led the Panthers with 14 points. Jones followed with 12 and Williams with 9. Penell added seven, while John LeBlanc and Keithan Francois each had four.
With two minutes left in the game, the outcome was still up-in-the-air, and UHigh was leading by only two baskets, but that all quickly changed.
“In the end we just weren’t smart. We gave up too many easy buckets,” Jones said.
The Cubs quickly added four more baskets and held the Panthers to just three to take the 59-50 win.
“We had a couple of miscues in the fourth and we can’t have those late in a game against good team like UHigh,” Penell said. “That hurt us at the end.”