BELDEN • The Pine Grove Panthers wasted no time putting away Calhoun Academy last Monday, Nov. 25 at the TCPS Thanksgiving Tournament. Behind their heavy defensive pressure and hot shooting of senior Mason Bullock, the Panthers bombarded the Cougars in the first quarter to build a double-digit lead and never looked back on their way to a 81-66 win.
Bullock connected on three, three-pointers in the first quarter and sophomore Carson Rowland added six points in the opening eight minutes for the Panthers to carry a 21-8 lead into the second.
The Cougars opened the second with a basket but Pine Grove responded with a 9-0 run started by a bucket and a foul from Rowland followed by baskets from Bullock, Noah Clark and John Bullock. Calhoun Academy connected on their second field goal of the quarter at the 5:40 mark but again the Panthers widened their lead with a 11-0 run with four points coming from Bullock, four points from Cade Wilder and a three-pointer by Jack Hudson that started the run. Hudson hit his second three-ball with 3:34 left to give the Panthers a 44-15 lead. Pine Grove led 51-24 at the break with Bullock dropping 20 of his game-high 25 points in the first half.
Hudson led the way in the third quarter, pouring in nine points in the quarter, including the opening three-pointer to start the second half. Bullock and Wilder both added deep threes as well. The Panthers ended the quarter on a 6-0 run to hold a 22-point lead heading into the fourth.
Hudson finished with 14 points on 50 percent shooting from the field. Rowland added 11 points, four rebounds, nine assists and eight steals. John Bullock pitched in 10 points.
The Panthers faced TCPS the next day, Tuesday, Nov. 26 and defeated the Eagles 64-40 behind 19 points and five steals from John Bullock. Rowland also had 18 points, five rebounds, nine assists and four steals. Hudson pitched in 13 points as well. Pine Grove sits at 5-1 on the season.