By Jay Young
PANAMA-Thanks to a pair of consecutive 3-pointers by brothers Josh and Dan Odell, Panama (1-2, 4-3) picked up a rousing 57-55 Division 2 West boys basketball victory over Clymer (0-2, 3-3) on Thursday night.
Above, Clymer’s Matt DeStevens, center, tries to grab the ball between Panama’s Dillon Mescall, left, and Dan Odell, right, during Thursday night’s Division 2 West game.
The Panthers found themselves in a four-point hole with just 1:20 to play, but a little sibling rivalry proved enough to overcome the deficit.
It was sophomore Josh Odell who stepped up to the plate to nail a trey at 54 seconds left, bringing the Panthers to within a point the Pirates.
Thanks to a Clymer turnover in the following moments, Panama got the ball back with an opportunity to take the lead.
Not to be outdone, older brother Dan Odell confidently pumped in a dagger 3 on the next possession to give Panama a decisive two-point margin.
"It's been weird, we play like we're the Miami Heat one night, and on other night's we look like a seventh- or eighth-grade team," joked Panama coach Ed Nelson after the win.
It's easy to guess what kind of a team the Panther's looked like on Monday night.
After getting the ball back with time on the clock, the Pirates were unable to find an open shot to take back the game.
As you may expect, the contest was closely fought throughout the early minutes of play.
Garrett McAfoose and Matt DeStevens were running at full tilt after the opening tip as they helped Clymer get out to an early 7-4 lead with easy transition baskets.
DeStevens totaled seven points in the opening quarter, finishing the night with a team-best 16 for Clymer while also adding five assists.
Dan Odell helped Panama get out on the right foot, finding a basket in the paint after a steal by Greg Delahoy that made it 6-7 in favor of the Pirates.
Evan Woods hit one of two shots at the line to help carry the Pirates into the second period with a two-point lead.
In the eight minutes leading up to halftime, Panama was able to build up some momentum after several strong defensive plays by Delahoy. The junior picked up a nice block in the early minutes of the period and added a big basket to tie the game at 21.
Clymer countered the push with an inside jumper by DeStevens, but still trailed 24-25 moving into the second half.
Both teams struck from long-range to open up the penultimate quarter, with Evan Legters hitting the first of his three treys for Clymer.
Legters finished with 11 points for the Pirates.
After showing his defensive chops in the second quarter, Delahoy continued to carry the Panthers in the third, adding two consecutive baskets and a big rebound.
He would end the night with 10 points on five shots.
"I think we kind of wore them down as the game went on,"noted Nelson. "Effort wasn't even a question all game long, we were getting in their face on shots with good man-to-man defense."
The Panthers picked up a five point margin going into the fourth quarter thanks to solid backcourt pressure and fast-break opportunities, but faltered early in the final period.
An uncontested jumper by Jake Wiggers narrowed the Panama lead in the final period while captain Mitch Einink also opened up his game for seven points in the fourth.
Einink totaled 11 points and six boards on the night.
"The effort was certainly there for both teams tonight," noted Clymer coach Dan White. "We wound up with 15 turnovers that were costly, I just wish we had a better opportunity to hold on to the ball at the end of the game there."
After an entire night of back-and-forth action, it was a missed layup by the Pirates that set the scene for the Odell brothers.
Clymer picked up a turnover with 1:30 to play, but promptly gave the ball back after missing an easy basket.
That was all the opening Panama needed to steal the game back with a pair of treys.
Dan Odell and Delahoy finished with a team-high 10 points.
Evan Legters pumped in 11 points for Clymer.
Blose 1 1 3, BPayne 0 0 0, Delahoy 5 0 10, JPayne 1 0 3, REddy 2 0 4, DOdell 4 0 9, Mescall 3 0 7, JOdell 3 0 8, Kirby 1 0 3, Renzel 0 0 0, DOdell 4 2 10. Totals 24 3 57.
DeStevens 6 2 16, Jacob Wiggers 3 1 7, McAfoose 1 0 2, Dunnewold 1 3 5, AEinink 0 0 0 , Legters 4 0 11, Woods 1 1 3, Svetz 0 0 0, MEinink 5 0 11, Heiser 0 0 0. Totals 21 7 55.
3-point goals: JPayne, DOdell, Mescall, JOdell 2, Kirby, DeStevens 2, MEinink, Legters 3.
Panama 10 15 15 17 - 57
Clymer 12 12 12 19 - 55
Jayvees: Panama won