"You want to be peeking at the right time going into district." - Homer Garner after a loss to Clarksville Tuesday.
For the first three quarters on Friday night against Bonham, the North Lamar Panthers looked as if they may be peeking. The passes were crisp, the defense was solid and the score was reflecting the effort.
The Panthers had a comfortable lead at 45-29 going into the final frame. A 19-5 run by the Warriors, however, made the game too close for comfort. NL clinging on to a 50-48 lead with less than a minute to play, Menderiz Gray hit some big free throws as North Lamar won 54-48.
The Panthers got off to a great start as they held Bonham to only five points in the first quarter. North Lamar scored 12 points, capped off by a buzzer-beating layup by Versache Buchanan. Both teams would trade baskets back and forth in the second quarter. This time it was Jake Stewart with a buzzer-beating tip-in that gave North Lamar a 23-16 lead at the half.
The third quarter was the quarter in which the Panthers seemed to put everything together. They outscored Bonham 22-13 and six different players scored in the quarter. Versache, Levi Porter and Julique Franklin all knocked down threes. Tyler Hill got three the old-fashioned way as well. It was a complete quarter for the Panthers.
Everything the third quarter was, the fourth quarter was not. The Panthers only managed two field goals in the fourth. Levi hit a two point shot and Gray knocked down a three. The other four points came from the charity stripe. Giving up 19 points, the defense looked fragile at times. However when it mattered the Panthers locked down and got the victory.
North Lamar will travel to Princeton on Monday night before opening district play next Friday
North Lamar 12 11 22 9 54
Bonham 5 11 13 19 48
Versache Buchanan - 12 points
Menderiz Gray - 11 points
Levi Porter - 8 points
Jake Stewart - 8 points
Grant Erickson - 4 points
Tyler Hill - 7 points
Julique Franklin - 4 points