The Redskins present plenty of problems and the Panthers had no answers.
Port Clinton converted 23 of 47 from the field and finished with five players in double digits Tuesday in a 68-45 victory in The Den over St. Mary Central Catholic.
“I think they are the best team in the league,” Panthers coach Lyle Falknor said of the undefeated Redskins. “When they play like they are capable of playing, they can beat a lot of teams.”
Port Clinton was particularly proficient from both inside and outside early in the game, hitting 5 of 8 shots from inside the arc and 4 of 6 from outside to grab a commanding 26-9 at the first break.
“Early on, I thought our ball movement was very good and our perimeter people did a good job supporting our post players,” Redskins coach Troy Diels said.
And the visitors did it with star guard Allen Tigner limited to a cameo role in the first half because of flu-like symptoms.
“I liked the way Josh Graves gave us some energy in the second half and Robert Fravel did a very nice job filling in for Allen,” Diels said. “That was good to see.”
Fravel only scored two points but Graves was the fifth and final Redskin to reach double digits, scoring his 10th point on a trey with 3:01 left to play. Ryan Hicks had a game-high 14 points, Josh Francis scored 13, Derek Colston chipped in 11 and Cory Brown matched Graves with 10 points.
Port Clinton, now 7-0 overall and 5-0 in the Sandusky Bay Conference with six double-digit wins and five straight by 20 points or more, also had a 30-27 edge on the boards with Francis grabbing seven with two blocks and Hicks added four with two blocks.
“When Port Clinton plays the way it is capable, you have to pick your poison,” Falknor said. “They have a good mix of inside and outside players and we were trying to force them to shoot from outside, but they did.
“Every time they catch the ball on the block, it’s two points or three. Our guys worked hard and trying to front them and tack away the blocks, but their senior post players are very good passers and they kept finding the open man. And it wasn’t just one person, they were all hitting from outside.”
Brian Ferber had 14 points and a game-high 10 rebounds, but was the lone Panther to reach double digits. St. Mary CC also turned the ball over 18 times in the game, compared to 11 for the Redskins.
“Any time you get out of your routine of going to school and practicing a whole week with Christmas and a couple of days off, the atmosphere is not the same,” Diels said. “I think our kids did a good job of creating excitement and intensity early on.”
The Redskins made it a clean sweep with a 61-49 decision in the jayvee contest. Jason Faust led the way with 16 points, Brandon Stubblefield scored 14 and Aaron Mier added 12 for Port Clinton while Alex Opfer had a game-high 20 for the young Panthers.