The Saint Jo Panthers won at Gold-Burg on Saturday thanks to their defense that never gave an inch.
The Panthers won 56-29 against the Bears, who were playing their first game in almost two weeks.
Saint Jo came out with a full-court-press that also tried to trap ball handlers before transitioning into man-defense in the half court. Gold-Burg packed the paint in a two-three zone and dared the Panthers to shoot from outside while trying to make up for a lack of height.
Saint Jo made a couple of outside shots, but found ways to get to the basket, usually in a physical manner the Bears tried to match. The Panthers created better chances in transition of scoring at the rim.
Gold-Burg made an early 3-pointer, but they came few and far between as the Bears found themselves down 14-5 heading into the second quarter.
Saint Jo initially went away from the press in the second quarter and the Bears scored a couple of baskets while getting to the free throw line. The Panthers made three 3-pointers and did not let them get too close, though Gold-Burg ended the quarter on an 8-2 run to cut the lead to 27-15.
Saint Jo went back to the press and started wrecking havoc.
The Bears struggled to break through and set up their offense for most of the quarter, turning the ball over again and again.
The Panthers took advantage of the extra possessions, continuously driving to the basket and getting sent to the free throw line.
Saint Jo drew 12 free throw attempts in the third quarter alone, making eight of them and scoring only one basket in the quarter. Fortunately, the stifling defense allowed Gold-Burg only four points.
The Panthers lead had grown to 37-19 heading into the fourth quarter.
Saint Jo knocked in some more 3-pointers as some
Bear starters fouled out. Gold-Burg players did start to beat the press and earn trips to the foul line after the parade of free throws for the Panthers in the previous quarter.
Still the Bears did not make up any ground even as Saint Jo cleared its bench down the stretch. The Panthers won 56-29.
To read the full story, pick up a copy of the mid-week edition of the Bowie News.