The Panthers won their fourth straight game and scored the last six points to break a late tie and beat Margaretta, 50-44, on Friday night.
OVERVIEW: Denarius Harris' pullup jumper with 55 seconds left put the Panthers up for good 46-44, and Ethan Sennish made 4 of 6 free throws to close it out.
Points were hard to come by for both teams, which meant games like this come down to foul shooting. The Panthers got to the free-throw line more than the Bears, finishing 18 of 28. Even though Margaretta had more field goals (17 to 14), the Bears made 7 of 11 at the foul line.
BEST PLAYER: Alex Opfer was the one player on the floor who played up to his numbers. The Sandusky Bay Conference's leading scorer at 17.8 coming into the game, Opfer scored 13 of his 18 in the first half.
KEY STAT: While the foul shooting obviously contributed to the bottom line, the fact that neither team made more than four field goals in any quarter made the free throws much more important. In the third quarter, the teams combined to go 6 of 32 from the floor for 14 points.
Either team could have won the game in the third. Instead, Harris won it for SMCC in the fourth.
UP NEXT: Margaretta (4-5 4-3 SBC) is at Bellevue on Saturday; St. Mary CC (5-5, 3-4) has the week off before playing Perkin Fridays. The last time the teams played, the Pirates pulled out a 54-52 win.
Said SMCC coach Lyle Falknor of the game, "I just hope we have the same opportunity we had the first time. I know they're a much better team than the first time. But I think we're a little better too, so we'll see how it all plays out."