Pelham takes down Stanhope Elmore to punch Sweet 16 ticket

Published 10:17 pm Tuesday, February 15, 2022

By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Managing Editor

PELHAM – The Pelham Panthers got to climb the ladder and cut down the net for the third year in a row on Tuesday, Feb. 15, after they punched another ticket to the Sweet 16.

Off back-to-back Sweet-16 appearances in seasons that featured special postseason runs, the Panthers seemed locked for a spot this year with one of the deepest rosters in the county, and they followed through with a 69-56 sub-regional victory against Stanhope Elmore.

It also made head coach Greg Dickinson 2-2 at getting to the Sweet 16 with the Panthers in his second year leading the team.

Early in the game, the Panthers set the tone by jumping out to a 14-5 lead in the first 7:50 of the game.

They went on to total 17 points in the opening quarter off three 3-pointers and four jumpers, while the defense limited the Mustangs to 11 points for a six-point lead at the end of one.

Pelham went on to lead by as many as 12 points midway through the second quarter, but a lightning-quick 10-0 run from Stanhope brought the Mustangs to within two points with 1:32 left in the quarter.

Pelham, however, responded with a quick 5-0 run itself to end the half and take a 32-25 lead into the break.

The Mustangs again answered out of the half with another quick 6-2 run to get within three points at 34-31.

From there, however, the momentum quickly shifted back to the Panthers, and this time, it didn’t shift back.

Pelham went on a 6-0 run with back-to-back fast breaks ending in a Jordan Holloway dunk and Kamari Hollis layup.

That put the Panthers in front by nine points, and the lead eventually grew to 12 at 47-35 before they took a 48-38 lead into the final quarter.

The two teams traded baskets early in the fourth quarter, eventually leading to Stanhope cutting the deficit to 54-46 with just less than five minutes to play.

But Pelham followed that with the game-winning stretch, putting the game out of reach.

Holloway hit a 3-pointer with 4:37 left, which was followed shortly after with a flagrant foul that led to two free throws and a layup from Will Lankford to all of a sudden take an eight-point game and turn it into a 15-point game.

Then, the Panthers got one more big basket from Holloway when he powered through for an and-1 to cap off what was a 10-0 run that put his team in front 64-46.

Stanhope never got closer than 11 points the rest of the way, as Pelham closed out the 13-point victory.

Holloway led the Panthers with 17 points, while MJ Jones finished with 16 points. Kamari Hollis also finished in double figures with 11 points, and the Panthers had a total of 10 players score in the win.

Pelham will now take on Spanish Fort in Montgomery on Thursday at 10:30 a.m. Last year, the Panthers fell to the Toros in the Sweet 16, which ended their season.