Panthers end Spain Park’s undefeated run

By Neal Embry/For the Reporter

PELHAM – The matchup between Pelham’s Alex Reese and Spain Park’s Austin Wiley was enticing enough to bring Auburn head coach Bruce Pearl, along with other college scouts, to Pelham High School Friday night.

Pearl certainly got his money’s worth.  For 32 minutes, Reese, a 6’9 freshmen, and Wiley, a 6’10 sophomore, battled in a hard-fought game that ended in an 87-79 Panther victory.

The Jaguars jumped out to an early 7-0 lead, capped by an emphatic dunk by Wiley, who finished with 24 points, seven rebounds and three blocks.

The Jaguars would be up by as many as nine in the first quarter, but the Panthers struck back with a 13-4 run that extended into the second quarter.  Reese scored seven of those 13 points.

After Pelham tied the game at 21, the two teams traded buckets the rest of the way.  The Jaguars took a 38-36 lead into the half.

Coming out of the break, Pelham took the lead on eight quick points by Mason Whitman.  The Jaguar’s Jamal Johnson did his best to help his team with 12 second-half points, on his way to a 20 point night.

In the fourth quarter, the Jaguars tied the game for the final time with just over three minutes left on a steal and score by Bailey McAvoy.

The Panthers scored the next seven points, led by Zach Allison, who had 19 of his 28 points in the second half, going 12 for 12 from the charity stripe in the fourth quarter, sealing the Panther’s victory.

“That was a terrific performance tonight…we executed our game plan exactly like we wanted to,” Pelham coach Joel Floyd said.

Pelham moves to 7-2 on the season, while Spain Park falls to 10-1.  On Dec. 12, Pelham will host Briarwood, while Spain Park will travel to Thompson.