Jaguar boys stun Panthers in area battle

Published 1:09 pm Wednesday, January 15, 2014

By JORDON SEMIEN/For the Reporter

HOOVER — In a meeting between AHSAA Class 6A, Area 8 heavyweights, the Spain Park Jaguars bared their defensive teeth and gave the Pelham Panthers their first area loss of the season in a 65-36 Jaguars win.

Both teams entered the night undefeated in area play and looking to establish their physical natures early on. The Jaguars struck first, using their full court press to force the Panthers into early turnovers, before Pelham fought back to within one point at the first timeout of the game.

Spain Park’s Austin Wiley got the home crowd to their feet with big play after big play in the first half. In the midst of a 7-0 run in the first quarter, Antonia Moss came away with a steal on defensive end and found Wiley on the break for the dunk. Moss had four points and six rebounds on the night, while Wiley added 17 points and six rebounds of his own.

The second quarter showed life for the Panthers as they clawed their way back into the fight. Alex Reese proved to be the focal point for the team as they made their comeback, leaving the halftime score at 23-22 Spain Park. Reese finished his night with eight points and five rebounds, joined by Zach Allison’s 11 points and five rebounds.

The Jaguars used second half to pull away from Pelham, save for one exchange in the third quarter. Jaguar player Davis Lewallen was charged with a technical foul for hanging from the rim after his break away dunk. After the made free throws for Pelham, the Panthers then received a technical foul, this time on Zach Allison for arguing with an official on a no call.

After settling into their game, the Jaguars had no trouble in finishing the game strong in a 65-36 upset.

Spain Park head coach Neal Barker gave high praise to his opponents.

“They’re a good basketball team,” he said. “We ended up winning by 29, but I don’t think that’s very indicative of their team. I know when we go over there next week, it’s gonna be a lot tougher.”

Before the rematch, the Jaguars will host Oak Mountain Eagles on Jan.21.