Pelham’s offense continues to roll in Calera win

Published 10:32 am Saturday, January 29, 2022

By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Managing Editor

CALERA – It was another spectacular night for the Pelham Panthers’ offense in a road win to close out area play on Friday, Jan. 28.

Taking on county foe Calera, the Panthers scored 17 or more points in every quarter of the game, had three finish in double figures and six finish with six or more points to help them pick up a tightly-contested 75-67 victory.

It also marked another 20-plus point effort for Michael MJ Jones, who finished with 27 points, including 10 in the final quarter to cement the victory.

The Panthers, who were ahead by just three points at the half, scored 20 points in both the third and fourth quarter to help overcome a strong offensive night from the Eagles as well.

The hot shooting was on display quickly for both teams, as each came out of the gate with 17 first-quarter points.

Calera got seven points from Javonte Melton and six from Izaiha Holmes in the opening quarter, as well as two from Xzayvion Childress, who was celebrated for surpassing 1,000 career points, as well as two from Mo Weatherspoon.

Pelham matched that with five from Jones, four each from Jordan Holloway and Thompson Gennarri, and two each from Darius Copeland and Kamari Hollis.

The Panthers followed that with an 18-point second quarter to continue a consistent night from the field thanks in large part to eight from Jones in the period.

Calera, however, knocked down three from beyond the arc in the second quarter, including two from Gavin Blankenship to help the Eagles remain in striking distance.

They totaled 15 points in the quarter, as Pelham took a slim 35-32 lead into the halftime break.

Midway through the third quarter, however, is where the first sign of trouble came for Calera.

Pelham started to seize control thanks to a 9-11 mark from the free throw line, three 3-pointers and seven points from Holloway.

That helped the Panthers total 20 points, and while Calera scored 15, including seven from Joe Wimberly, it wasn’t enough to avoid an eight-point deficit going to the final quarter.

The final quarter was then almost a mirror image to the third, as the Panthers got 10 from Jones in the period and totaled 20 for the second quarter in a row.

Childress had his best quarter of the game in the final quarter, while Melton scored for the first time since the opening quarter with eight more points, but that, along with two other 3-pointers, wasn’t enough for the Eagles, as they could only match Pelham’s 20.

Holloway finished second for Pelham with 14 points in the win, while Gennarri added 10. Hollis finished one point shy of double digits with nine points, while Darius Copeland and Corey Perkins added seven and six, respectively.

Calera was led by 15 each from Childress and Melton in the loss. Holmes also finished in double figures with 11, while Wimberly and Blankenship were just shy with nine each.