Spring Hill Christmas Classic: Host Panthers move on to semifinals
Dec. 28, 2017 at 10:11 p.m.
Another dominating performance Thursday afternoon enabled the Spring Hill Panthers to coast into Friday's semifinals of the Spring Hill Christmas Classic.
The Daingerfield Tigers were their latest victim. Ryan Willis paced a quartet of Panthers in twin figures with 20 points, leading to a 71-36 decimation of Daingerfield.
Spring Hill wins its fifth straight and improves to 10-5 overall on the year. The Panthers face Mount Vernon in today's semifinals at 1 p.m.
Willis was joined in deuces by Tyler Caron's 19 points, Kyren Miller's 15 points and Jason Mudoh's 10 points.
The Panthers, which have yet to trail in three tournament games, fended off three first period ties and took the lead for good when Exavier Hinton sank the front end of a two-shot foul at 4:50.
Hinton's charity toss ignited what would end up being a 16-0 Spring Hill scoring spree to close the first quarter. The Panthers assumed to commanding 27-9 lead heading to the second quarter.
Caron had a spurt of 10 straight points in the period starting with a nice transition layup at 4:03 and concluding with a give-and-go from Willis at 1:30.
Despite a cold start to the second frame for the Panthers, the Tigers were equally frigid from the floor.
Miller's 3-pointer at 5:23 seemed to wake up the Panthers as Caron canned a fall away on the next trip and Willis packaged back-to-back buckets for a 44-13 lead near the two minute mark.
The Panthers were actually outscored in the third 12-10, but it mattered little with such a sizable cushion. Christian Rogers banked in a jumper at 2:42 and Mudoh went from end to end for a layup at the close of the third.
It was Mudoh that jump started a late close in the fourth with a layin. Caron followed with a bucket, Miller a pair of freebies and Willis with a buzzer-beating layup following a steal.
(Follow George Whitley on Twitter: @GPigskinprof)