Patriots roll Panthers in home opener


MHS VS LHS (DEC 10, 2013)






















LINDEN—The Linden boys’ basketball team had too much depth and size for the Panthers of Marengo High Tuesday, paving away runouts and hammering the boards on their way to constructing an easy 83-37 home victory.

MHS took an early lead off Demetrius Bower’s pull-up J from beyond the arch at 7:33. The next three-plus minutes didn’t fare as well for the Panthers as the Patriots answered back with good footwork in the post and precise outside shooting. Dewayne Charleston Jr. and Imoras Agee did the damage from the outside during the stretch after being awarded extra space thanks to the size advantage Linden enjoyed all night.  The 11-0 run forced a timeout with 4:23 left in the opening period from MHS coach Ulysses Gardner, who is in his first year as head ball coach at Marengo.

“We’re just not there yet. It will take some time for the kids to adjust to the system” Gardner said. “Our lack of size and inexperience will be the biggest obstacle for us this season. We’ve just got to play hard every time we go out there.”

Indeed the Panthers did play with stamina as they clawed their way back to within striking distance thanks to a 12-3 run, reducing the deficit to 29-19 with 3:45 left before half.

Agee threw water on MHS’s spark, however, draining two long range shots totaling six points in less than 30 seconds, giving the big dogs room to maneuver with less traffic.

It was Savon Parker and Kynard Craig who went to work for the Pats’, imposing their overbearing size, snatching boards, and attacking the rim, all resulting in a 17-3 run to put the score going into the break at 46-22.

The second half saw Linden play with the same intensity as the first. Right out of intermission, LHS hit the Panthers with full-court pressure, forcing the ball handler to the baseline. And since Linden’s size has no hindrance on its foot speed, the Patriots have the unique advantage of bringing their bigs to the front court in hopes of closing on the ball, making the trap along the baseline nearly impossible to get out of when it is closed.

“We want to play good defense. We want to push the ball, but pressure defense has to be there. We want to be able to throw different looks at teams, not just with the full press but in the half-court set as well.” Andro Williams said following his team’s victory.  “We’ve just got to keep focused on getting better every day.”

“It’s all about being at your best in January and that’s what w’vee got to do to get there.” Williams added. The Patriots move to 2-0 in this early 2013-’14 basketball season after beating Thomasville in their season opener.

Williams’ Patriots will see their next test against an even larger classification in that of the 2A Southern Choctaw and the 5A Demopolis Tigers, who are 3-3 after beating A.L Johnson Tuesday by a score of 84-55.

Agee led all scores with 23 points as he hit on four of his six 3-point attempts.

Craig and Parker both finished in double digits with 18 and 11 respectively, followed by Chris Rogers who accounted for eight points.

The Panthers were led by Michael Lewis, who neared a double-double, scoring 18 points on his way to collecting seven rebounds.

Behind Lewis was Boswer, who had a nice night as he too, with seven boards along with 12  points.