by Mark Cheffey
The PHS varsity boys basketball team started the season with an impressive 57-39 win at Canton Friday.
Especially considering Coach Ryan Wood had a full team together practicing for less than a week.
“Having the football kids back was huge for our physicality and toughness on the floor,” said Wood whose team benefited from the presence of seniors Zane Meyers,
Abe Haerr and Quade Plunkett, fresh from the gridiron to the hardwood.
“They bring leadership and a winning attitude when they step on the court,” Wood said.
The trio also brought over half of the offense as they scored a combined 34 points.
Palmyra got off to a 21-4 start, and then out-scored the Tigers 16-7 at the beginning of the second half to take a 20-point lead into the final quarter.
“I thought we did some good things defensively,” Wood said. “Our physical play may have thrown them off a bit early in the game.
“Our rebounding edge was 42-27, so I was pleased with the way we found bodies to check.”
Offensively, Wood thinks the team still needs some “fine tuning.”
“We were a little careless with the ball and didn’t have as much ball movement as I would have liked,” Wood said. “At the same time, I thought we were able to hit some shots early and get Canton out of their zone which was a goal of ours.”
Scoring for Palmyra were Haerr, 17, Meyers, 12, Lydin Lochman, 11, Bear Bock, six, Plunkett, five, Bennett Stice, four, Alex Loman, three, and Adam Goodwin, one.
This week, the Panthers are competing as the second seed in the Monroe City Tournament. They were to open play at 5 p.m. Tuesday against seventh-seeded Mark Twain.
The winner advances to the semifinals, Thursday, and play at 7 p.m. against the winner of Tuesday’s quarterfinal between third-seeded Van-Far and sixth-seeded South Shelby.