With North’s football season being extended by their playoff run, the start of the basketball season was delayed. So while all the other area teams started a week earlier, this last Saturday marked the opening of the season for the Panthers. Their opponents were the Seton Catholic Cardinals in Richmond, Indiana. A team that had already played a handful of games and so were battle tested. Also to add to the difficulty level, North only returns 3 players with varsity experience from last year’s season. So for many of North’s roster, this was their first varsity game.
With a taller team, the Cardinals packed into a 2-3 zone and dared the Panthers to shoot from outside. The Panthers couldn’t settle into a groove on offense. They had some opening night ball handling problems at times, so turnovers didn’t help their cause. But although they hit the rim most of the night, they had problems getting their shots to drop. And with their height advantage, Seton was hauling in most of the rebounds, limiting the Panthers to just one shot attempt.
At the other end of the court, the Panthers struggled to find an answer for Desmond Bane, an athletic player for Seton, who would score 26 points on the night – almost half of their points. This despite sitting out the 4th quarter. He could drive the ball to basket – and Seton did run an old school NBA style clear out play for him. But he could also pull up and drain a 3. North started in a man to man defense, but switched to a zone. But neither defense slowed down the pace of Cardinal scoring.
By games end the score was 58-28 in favor of the Cardinals. Their record is now 5-1, while North is 0-1. Scoring for North: MacAdams 6, Louthan 5, McCullough 4, Edgin 4, Cordes 3, Woodyard 4, Vanbroderode 2.
“We did all right in the first quarter, but we got away from our game,” stated coach King after the game. “We made way too many turnovers and had problems shooting the ball. They came in 5 games into their season and this was our first game.”
Did the late start to the season have an effect: “Three of our players were on the football team. The rest have been able to practice together the entire time. So in my mind, it wasn’t really a factor.”
Next week North plays Trail and Dixie. “Trail is playing way better ball than they did last year so that game will be tough. And Dixie always plays us hard. So we expect good games from both teams.”