Panthers 'D' leads the way in a victory

Bob Benz
Campbell-Savona’s Jake Higbie (25) pulls down a rebound between two Bradford players during Friday’s game.

At times, it wasn’t pretty.

But for the most part, Merlin Button liked what he saw Friday, Dec. 9, during Campbell-Savona’s 64-25 rout of Bradford.

Specifically, the Panthers’ head coach was glad to see that his team was productive in the paint, while forcing turnovers and playing suffocating defense at the other end of the floor.

Alex Norton dominated in the interior for Campbell-Savona, pouring in a game-high 21 points and pulling down a team-best seven rebounds to pace the Panthers.

Utilizing a pesky full-court press for much of the game, the Panthers forced the Braves into 33 turnovers and limited Bradford to seven or fewer points in three of four quarters.

“That’s our intention is to establish out inside game and go from there,” Button said. “It was a great team effort, especially defensively.”

Mitch Allen came up with six steals, dished out five assists and scored two points as Campbell-Savona set the tone by taking a 14-3 lead after eight minutes of play.

The Braves held their own with the Panthers during the second quarter as Campbell-Savona took a 27-16 advantage into intermission.

Bradford’s Rick Gardner netted five of his team-high seven points during the second quarter as the Braves stayed within shouting distance by forcing 11 first-half turnovers.

However, Campbell-Savona reasserted itself in the second half and quickly pulled away.

While Campbell-Savona forced the issue inside early, the Panthers had great success from the perimeter during the third quarter, when they outscored the Braves 20-7.

“They played aggressive man-to-man defense and what killed us was the turnovers,” Bradford head coach Bob Lee said.

Todd Harrian knocked down a 3-pointer and finished with eight points for the Panthers and teammate Zach Barney chipped in with seven points. Campbell-Savona’s Tyler VanDerhoff dished out five assists to go with his two points.

Campbell-Savona (2-1, 2-0) will host Arkport at 7:15 p.m. Wednesday. Bradford (2-2) will host George Jr. at 6 p.m. Tuesday.

Campbell-Savona’s Jake Wilson goes up for a shot over Bradford's Jordan Keefer during Friday’s game.