PBL seventh-grade boys basketball defeats Watseka Glenn Raymond in first round of TCC Tournament

CULLOM -- The Paxton-Buckley-Loda seventh-grade boys basketball team defeated Watseka Glenn Raymond 43-19 in the first round of the Twin County Conference Tournament on Saturday.
The Panthers started the game with a 7-2 advantage in the first quarter.
"I don't know how many layups or easy shots we missed around the rim," PBL seventh-grade coach Jeff Sinn said. "We made things harder for ourselves because if we could have converted on those early missed opportunities, we could have put that game away right away and not wait until the second half to do so."
In the second quarter, PBL outscored Watseka 15-10 en route to taking a 22-12 lead, but not before Watseka scored three consecutive times to take a two-point lead in the second quarter.
"We had control of the game and, next thing I know, we turn the ball over, and all of a sudden, we were down two and I am calling a timeout," Sinn said. "It seems to have happened every game so far this year. I will give our players credit -- after the timeout, they did not panic. They kept their composure."
After halftime, PBL outscored Watseka 9-2 in the third quarter and 12-5 in the fourth quarter.
Sinn credited the Panthers' full-court pressure for the team's defense holding Watseka to two points in the third quarter.
"We came out of halftime, and I felt like we were not playing with the energy we were capable of playing with, so we ended up going straight man-to-man and really pressured Watseka into a lot of turnovers, and we were able to capitalize on those turnovers," Sinn said.
Kayden Snelling led the Panthers in scoring with 13 points while Johnathan Craig had eight points, Jeremiah Ager had seven points, Kendall Swanson had six points, Aiden Johnson had four points, Ephraim Johnson and Beau Kleinert each had two points and Cole Purvis had one point.
"I thought it was a good start to tournament play," Sinn said. "You never know how your players are going to come out and perform on an early Saturday morning. It took a while for our guys to get going, and we had a few that never got going. It happens -- it's junior high basketball, and every game is a learning experience for them."
The Panthers will face Iroquois West in the semifinals at 6:45 p.m. today. The winner plays in the championship game at 6:45 p.m. Thursday.
"We look forward to Tuesday night and trying to get past a really good Iroquois West team," Sinn said. 
TUESDAY, Nov. 28
The PBL seventh-grade boys basketball team won 30-26 over Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley.
"I thought GCMS played us really hard the entire game," Sinn said. "It was a fun game -- a real back-and-forth game -- until the very end. We really struggled to put things together the whole night offensively. GCMS does a real good job of packing that defense in there, and it was a struggle for us to adjust to what they were doing. 
"It also didn't help that we have been playing teams all year so far that (play zone defense). I think this was the first time we really came across a team that was running man-to-man. Offensively, we had not worked much on our man offense, and it showed. Again, it was a learning experience for our players."
PBL led 12-6 after the second quarter, but GCMS held the Panthers to only four points in the second quarter en route to taking a 17-16 lead into halftime.
"It really was a struggle the entire game for us," Sinn said. In the second half, we could not put GCMS away."
The Panthers outscored GCMS 7-2 in the third quarter before each teams tallied seven points in the fourth. Ty Graham made two free throws late in the fourth quarter to make it a two-possession lead for PBL.
"Ty was huge for us on the free-throw line at the end of the game," Sinn said. "Both teams had a chance t otake the win, but neither seemed to close the deal. Ty needed that last free throw to keep the game a two-possession game, and he was clutch for us."
Graham finished the game with two points while Kendall Swanson and Jeremiah Ager each had 10 points and Kayden Snelling had eight points for PBL.
For GCMS, Zach Barnes had 10 points, Ty Harden and Seth Barnes each had five points, Seth Kollross had four points and Kellan Fanson had two points.
TUESDAY, Nov. 28
PBL 30, GCMS 26
GCMS 6    11   2    7    -- 26
PBL 12    4    7    7    -- 30
Seth Kollross 2-0-4, Seth Barnes 2-0-5, Zach Barnes 5-0-10, Kellan Fanson 0-2-2, Ty Harden 1-3-5, Chase Minion 0-0-0. Totals 10-5-26.
Cole Purvis 0-0-0, Ty Graham 0-2-2, O'Quinn Gerdes 0-0-0, Mason Uden 0-0-0, Ephraim Johnson 0-0-0, Ethan Donaldson 0-0-0, Aiden Johnson 0-0-0, Jeremiah Ager 3-1-10, Beau Kleinert 0-0-0, Kayden Snelling 4-0-8, Kendall Swanson 5-0-10. Totals 12-3-30.
3-pointers -- GCMS (Barnes). PBL 3 (Ager 3).
7th-grade boys
PBL 43, Watseka Glenn Raymond 19
WAT 2    10    2    5    -- 19
PBL 7    15    9    8    -- 43
Ketchum 0-0-0, Hoy 1-0-2, Labels 2-0-4, Quick 0-0-0, Courlone 0-0-0, Douglas 0-0-0, N. Nava 0-0-0, Denault 0-1-1, D. Nava 0-0-0, Crouch 0-0-0, Walmer 1-0-2, Warren 0-0-0, Narlin 2-2-6, Lynch 2-0-4, Curtis 0-0-0. Totals 8-3-19.
PBL (6-2)
Cole Purvis 0-1-1, Ty Graham 0-0-0, Mason Uden 0-0-0, Chase Ratcliff 0-0-0, Ephraim Johnson 1-0-2, Ethan Donaldson 0-0-0, Aiden Johnson 2-0-4, Jeremiah Ager 3-0-7, Griffin Johnson 0-0-0, Beau Kleinert 1-0-2, Keaton Garren 0-0-0, Johnathan Craig 4-0-8, Kayden Snelling 6-1-13, Kendall Swanson 3-0-6. Totals 20-2-43.
3-pointers -- PBL (Ager).


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