Pack, Panthers split a pair

Published 10:03 pm Thursday, December 21, 2023

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Washington sophomore guard Chaise Smith dunked off the opening tipoff against Northside and the rout was seemingly on after another early spurt put the Pack ahead by 11 on the way to an 85-70 victory at Dave Smith Gym.

However, the Panthers either missed the memo regarding the blowout or ignored it entirely, turning a 30-point early third quarter deficit into a respectable defeat against one of the top teams in the 2A East division.

Washington )5-2) collected its third straight double-digit victory after a four overtime loss to Hertford Co. last week, putting together several highlight stretches when the starters were on the floor to maintain control the entire night.

“We were more athletic and faster than they were, but we also looked lethargic at times, especially in the second half,” WHS coach David Allewalt said. “We had very good ball movement early, which led to easy points and the big lead. Our baseline back door cuts to the basket worked out well because we shared the ball. Northside played us tough and had some good stretches as well. They are going to have a good season.”

The Panthers (9-2) dropped their second game this week, but put up 45 points in the second half after trailing by 20 at the half.

“We might not put up the highlight reel dunks (Washington had over 20), but we fight the entire game,” coach Jared Adams said. “They are very good in transition and we made some costly turnovers. I liked our second half much better than the first and playing very good teams will help us in our conference and in the post-season.”

Sophomore Jarryn Payne led four Pam Pack players in double figures with 23 points. Older brother Gary Payne had 18, Smith had 15 and junior Javon Williams added 13.

Malachi Moore and Griffin Johnson led Northside with 19 points, while Max Vansant chipped in 12.

The Panthers girls stayed undefeated with a 74-40 wire-to wire victory over WHS.

Junior guard Olivia Jane (OJ) Cahoon scored 18 points in the first quarter on the way to a game-high 30.

“We had some early foul trouble and O.J. stepped it up for us,” coach Michelle Leathers said. “We did a great job of pushing the ball and playing as a team. It’s good to know we can count on more than one person during a game.”

Madison Scheffler added 18 points for the Panthers (8-0), while junior Breanna Perry scored 19 of her 23 points in the first half to lead Washington (1-8).