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Early Answer

Panama Up To Task Against Nonleague Chautauqua Lake

Panama’s Cameron Barmore secures the ball above Chautauqua Lake’s Michael Anderson during Wednesday’s nonleague boys basketball game in Panama. P-J photos by Mark Anderson

PANAMA — Members of the Panama basketball team expected that Wednesday’s nonleague boys matchup with Chautauqua Lake would present a challenge early on in this season, and they were right.

After picking up a 27-11 lead early, the Panthers were forced to dig deep down the home stretch on the way to a 54-50 victory.

Late efforts by Luke Ormsby and Noah Adams would bring Chautauqua Lake (1-3) within one possession with time winding down, but Panama was able to remain composed at the foul line and in the backcourt on its way to a 3-0 record to start the season.

“Intensity, they kept after it,” first-year Chautauqua Lake head coach Alex Reyda said of his team. “I felt that we started to execute our offense a little bit better, we were moving the ball a little bit better. We weren’t just settling for the first shot as the game went on. We still aren’t really getting the shots that we’re looking for, we are making mistakes on offense, not making the right reads a lot of times.”

It was Cameron Barmore who led the Panthers out of the gate in the opening quarter, hitting home for 8 of his game-high 31 points in the first eight minutes.

The Thunderbirds’ Noah Adams drives to the lane.

Ormsby was able to hit home on a long-range attempt on Chautauqua Lake’s final possession of the opener, while Adams added another trey to begin the second quarter for the visitors.

Following that bucket Panama’s offense would go on a 17-point run as Cooper Brown and Gerrit Hinsdale each hit home on 3s, while Barmore added a three-point play and a nice feed to Hinsdale.

Panama would take a 29-18 lead into the half, but Chautauqua Lake would respond with tenacity on both sides of the ball through the final two quarters.

“It was a very physical basketball game,” Panama coach Ed Nelson said. “We knew that they were going to be keying on Cam like every team is, we still have to get the ball to the big dog and let him do some work. We knew Chautauqua Lake was going to be a good ball club, they always are. We came into this thing knowing we just need to take another step, just trying to get better, trying to go 1-0 every single day.”

Helping to close the gap in the third was a 3 by Michael Anderson and an old-fashioned three-point play by Ormsby after drawing contact in the paint.

Panama’s Braden Cook attempts to secure the ball as Chautauqua Lake’s Michael Anderson reaches in during Wednesday’s nonconference boys basketball game in Panama.

A deep shot by Luke Waters would pull the Thunderbirds within three points, and Chautauqua Lake would see its first and only lead of the night at 37-36 after a bucket in the lane by Ricky Syper and a baseline drive from Adams.

More work by Barmore, including another and-one three-point play and a jumper in the paint would stretch the Panama lead back to 10 points, with the Thunderbirds continuing to put on defensive pressure in the final eight minutes of play.

Chautauqua Lake would have a few glimpses of hope late, as Adams finished back-to-back buckets on fast drives while Ormsby finished off a steal-and-drive, but Panama’s experience in close games proved too much to overcome.

Barmore would finish with 21 rebounds while Hinsdale grabbed 9 points, 18 rebounds and five assists. The senior duo has been joined by a new contingent of guards that the Panthers are hoping will carry them back to the state final four.

“I’m starting three new guards too. Connor Cooper at point guard, Cooper Brown at wing and then we moved Gerrit Hinsdale out to a wing and we have Braden Cook as the other one,” Nelson said.

The Thunderbirds’ Nate Engdahl drives the lane.

Cook would chip in 10 points and Brown 3 for Panama.

Ormsby led Chautauqua Lake with 12 points, 11 rebounds and four steals while Nate Engdahl had seven rebounds, three assists and two steals with Waters picking up five rebounds, an assist and four steals to go with his 11 points.

CHAUTAUQUA LAKE (50)

Adams 7 0 15, Anderson 2 0 5, Waters 3 3 11, Godfrey 0 2 2, Engdahl 0 1 1, Syper 2 0 4, Ormsby 4 2 12. Totals 18 8 50.

PANAMA (54)

Brown 1 0 3, Cook 5 0 10, Cooper 0 1 1, Barmore 12 7 31, Hinsdale 4 0 9. Totals 22 8 54.

3-point goals–Brown, Hinsdale, Adams, Anderson, Waters 2, Ormsby 2.

Chautauqua Lake 6 12 19 13 — 50

Panama 10 19 13 12 — 54

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