“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.”
Those words are the beginning of Charles Dickens’ famous novel A Tale of Two Cities. Those words could be applied to the James Monroe basketball game Tuesday night against the PikeView Panthers in Lindside.
The homestanding Mavericks had the best of times as they led throughout the first half. It then turned into the worst of times for the Mavs as the Panthers controlled the second half and rolled to a 60-37 win.
With the game tied early at six, James Monroe opened a seven point lead on three point baskets by Jacob McKlarney and Garrett Mann, a free throw by Micah Deskins and another charity toss by Chord Settle. Austin Cordell’s three from the deep right wing at the first quarter buzzer pulled PikeView to within four at 14-10 after the first eight minutes of play.
PikeView charged back in the second quarter. A jumper by Jason Weitzel and a layup by Logan McKinney tied the contest two minutes into the second quarter. Again the Mavericks went on a run, scoring six unanswered to take a 20-14 lead.
The Mavericks’ press proved problematic for the Panthers who turned the ball over and James Monroe converted to points.
PikeView then gained momentum and pulled closer to the lead. Bradley Flinchum’s putback with 30 seconds remaining in the half made it a one-point game 24-23 at the half. Flinchum came off the bench to score five points for the Panthers in the second quarter.
“He (Flinchum) was a great spark tonight,” said PikeView head coach Lindsay Jones. “Every time he comes in he’s going to make something happen, we just don’t know what it’s going to be. Tonight he was in a zone, playing within himself, really taking the shots we want him to take and rebounding very well.”
Weitzel canned a three to open the third and tied the game at 26 and PikeView was off and running. The Panthers defense rose to the fore, forcing turnovers and Flinchum’s three-point-play with 4:14 to go in the third put the Panthers up by six. Another Flinchum putback a minute later gave PikeView and eight point advantage at which time James Monroe called time.
“We just started being a little more patient in our offense,” Jones said. “That’s what we talked about at halftime, that we needed to be more patient and stop letting them dictate the pace of the game.
“We also talked at halftime about only giving them one shot and we did a really good job of boxing out and quit giving them those second opportunities. Between the two we kind of opened it up a little bit.”
The PikeView juggernaut continued to roll and outscored James Monroe 23-6 in the third quarter and took a commanding 46-30 lead into the fourth frame.
In the fourth PikeView continued to force James Monroe turnovers and the Mavericks, when they were able to get the ball to the basket, could not drop it through.
Weitzel’s eight points in the fourth helped seal the deal for PikeView who emptied its bench in the final minutes of the game, giving playing experience to all on the roster.
Weitzel led PikeView with 17 points, Flinchum came off the bench to score 14 and Tanner Farley added 11.
Deskins led James Monroe with 10, while Settle and Mann added nine apiece.
James Monroe head coach Jonathan McPherson said, “We had quite a few turnovers that second half and we didn’t get back on defense. That was one thing. PikeView just sprinted the floor better than us that third quarter. It looked like once we lost the lead our body language changed I could tell we were frustrated and the real effort just went down from there.”
James Monroe played without its big man who is recovering from a sprained ankle. McPherson believes Ganoe’s presence could have made a difference.
“our guards weren’t getting back and it didn’t help that we didn’t have Josh Ganoe tonight, 6’8, (he) would have got a lot of those rebounds, but that being said, we still needed somebody to step up, especially that second half.”
PikeView, 4-7, hosts Mount View, Friday night.
James Monroe, 3-9, entertains Independence, also on Friday.
At James Monroe High School
Austin Hazelwood 0 0-0 0, Seth Wood 1 0-0 2, Bradley Flinchum 6 2-3 14, Austin Cordell 3 0-0 7, Jonathan Burrell 0 0-0 0, Jason Weitzel 6 4-5 17, Tanner Farley 5 0-0 11, Zach Meadows 2 1-4 5, Logan McKinney 2 0-1 4, Totals 25 7-13 60.
JAMES MONROE (46)
Micah Deskins 4 2-5 10, Caleb Brown 0 0-0 0, Chord Settle 3 3-5 9, Chastin Wickline 2 0-0 4, Ryan Wickline 0 0-0 0, Preston Jones 0 0-0 0, E.T. Weiss 0 0-0 0, Devin Carr 1 0-0 2, Jacob McKlarney 1 0-0 3, Garrett Mann 3 2-2 9, Totals 14 7-12 37.
PikeView..............14 10 6 7 — 37
James Monroe..........10 13 23 14 — 60
3-point baskets: PV 3 (Cordell, Weitzel, Farley), JM 2 (McKlarney, Mann)
Fouled out-None. Technical Fouls-None