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Panthers hit all cylinders for win

January 15, 2006|By JACK HILL III

ST. JAMES -

The Hancock Panthers did not play like an 0-10 team on Saturday afternoon.

The Panthers used a productive offense to score at least 16 points in every quarter to snap their season-opening losing streak in a 71-62 win over host St. James in a Washington County boys basketball game at Alumni Hall.

Senior forward Dylan Shives came within two assists of a triple-double while accumulating 24 points and 15 rebounds for Hancock (1-10).

"Our team's offense was more effective than usual," Shives said. "We won because we outhustled and we outrebounded them. We played a complete game and that is why we got a win."

And a win was something the Panthers badly needed.

"It felt good to get a victory," Hancock coach Ron Hose said. "We were in desperate need of a W. We only had nine players, but we felt that every player stepped up today. We really kept our composure during the game."

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Sophomore point guard Steven Beaver had 24 points and six assists for Hancock, while Dustin Hull added 11 points and Matt Kline grabbed seven rebounds.

Point guard Shannon Strange led St. James (5-4) with a game-high 28 points, while Perry Titus-Glover added 11 points and Mike Russ collected 10 points, eight rebounds and five steals.

"I give Hancock all of the credit in the world," St. James coach Mike Brooks said. "Regardless of their record, they came out and played hard. We gave up too many easy buckets in the second half when we needed to make stops. On offense, we were very stagnant. It was our worst offensive performance of the year."

Hancock scored the first seven points of the game, but only held a 16-14 lead after the first quarter. The Panthers held a 32-27 halftime advantage.

Hancock extended its lead to 48-36 by the end of the third quarter. The Panthers took their biggest lead at 61-46 with 3:13 remaining in the fourth quarter.

However, the Saints went down fighting, narrowing the gap to 67-62 with 18 seconds remaining.

Shives hit a pair of free throws with 16 seconds left and Beaver iced the game with a pair of foul shots with four seconds left to give Hancock its final margin of victory.

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