Pelham’s blistering start powers Panthers past Calera

Published 3:59 pm Wednesday, January 31, 2024

By ANDREW SIMONSON | Sports Editor

CALERA – The Pelham Panthers traveled to Calera on Tuesday night, Jan. 30 and wrapped up their regular season with a 69-49 win over the Eagles.

The Panthers jumped on the Eagles quickly in the first quarter scoring 24 points and holding Calera to only nine.

Egypt Daniel hit a pair of three-pointers in the first while Dynarian Long added three long two-point field goals to lead Pelham in scoring for the quarter.

However, the Eagles did not go away easily. In the second quarter, they got more of the offense going and scored 12 points.

The Panthers cooled off from their first quarter explosion and matched the Eagles 12-point effort, which gave them a 36-21 lead at halftime.

In the third quarter, both teams began matching each other’s baskets. Joe Wimberly had one of his best quarters of the season in the third, scoring nine of the Panthers 13 points.

For the second straight quarter, Calera matched Pelham’s total for the quarter and scored 13 points of its own.

Despite that, the Panthers 16-point lead from the first quarter continued to be the difference and kept Pelham up 49-34 at the end of the third period.

The Panthers drew from their first-quarter scoring form to close out the victory in the fourth quarter.

Pelham scored 20 points in the final period with six of those coming from Jayden Robinson.

While Calera attempted to make a run in the fourth by cutting the lead to single digits, it wasn’t enough to overcome. In the end, the 15 points put up by the Eagles in the fourth were not enough to complete the comeback.

The Panthers were led in scoring by Wimberly with 18, Long with 15 and Tolbert with 11.  Robinson pitched in nine points and added 15 rebounds for the Panthers.

With the regular season now over for Pelham, the Panthers will face Briarwood in the semifinals of the area tournament on Monday, Feb. 5 at 6 p.m. at Helena High School. The winner will earn a spot in sub-regionals and face Helena for the area title.