Pelham claims dominant win over Altamont in tripleheader with Birmingham Squadron

Published 3:46 pm Tuesday, January 16, 2024

By ANDREW SIMONSON | Sports Editor

BIRMINGHAM – The Pelham Panthers earned their second win of the season over the Altamont Knights on Monday, Jan. 15, but this victory was a little more special.

Pelham’s 55-41 win over Altamont was the final game of the inaugural Birmingham Squadron Squad Slam at Legacy Arena in downtown Birmingham.

The game was one of two high school basketball games to follow the Squadron’s annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Day game, which the New Orleans Pelicans’ NBA G-League affiliate won over Raptors 905.

As for Pelham’s game, the Panthers came out of the gate strong and scored eight points in the first four minutes to take an 8-4 lead.

However, the Knights defense picked up from there and held Pelham scoreless for the remainder of the quarter.

Altamont would later cut the deficit to just two points at the end of the first quarter, putting pressure on the Panthers to respond.

That’s exactly what Pelham did to start the second quarter as it scored two baskets in the opening minute to increase the lead to 12-6 and force a Knights timeout.

The Panthers wouldn’t let Altamont get closer than that for the rest of the half, holding the Knights to just seven points in the second quarter to take a 19-12 lead into the break.

Pelham point guard Joe Wimberly took over the game in the third quarter, scoring eight points to add to his six from the first half.

The Panthers forced another Knights timeout after they increased their lead to 11 just 1:26 into the second half.

From there, Pelham closed the quarter on a dominant run, earning baskets from seven different scorers, including five points from Marcus Arnold, to hold a commanding 43-20 lead at the end of the third quarter.

After increasing their lead to 25 in the opening minute of the fourth, the Panthers would soon rotate out their starters and allow their depth players to get some key minutes. That allowed Jacob Gibbs and Kobe Hearon to score their first points of the day.

While six points from Jordan Henschel helped Pelham score 12 in the final quarter, Altamont slashed the Panthers’ lead with 21 fourth-quarter points.

However, the Knights never got close enough to threaten for the lead, and Pelham earned the 14-point win at the home of the Birmingham Squadron.

Wimberly led all scorers with a game-high 14 points in just three quarters. Arnold had seven points, Henschel’s six points all came in the fourth quarter and Egypt Daniel scored five points.