For the Carrollton Hawks size has usually mattered not during the course of the season. On Tuesday night against the Jerseyville Panthers it did. The Hawks lost to the Panthers 59-55 in Jerseyville and had their eight-game winning streak end in the process.
“It’s hard to swallow it because we’ve lost so many down here. We’re 0-5 now in this gym in a 10-year stretch,” Carrollton head coach Jeff Krumwiede said. There have been a lot of close ones. There’s been games where we’ve played extremely well and still lost.
Luke Palan led the Hawks in scoring for the third consecutive game with 20 points. Luke Gillingham added 16.
Zac Ridenhour spearheaded the Panthers attack with 16 points. Jake Varble chipped in 13 and Drake Kanallakan added 12.
“Tonight we started great. We hit a bunch of shots and had momentum,” Krumwiede said. “I’m starting to think wow we are really clicking.”
Carrollton got behind 4-3, but turned up the jets and burst out to a 24-16 lead at the end of the first quarter. They made 8 of 11 shots in the frame. Cody Leonard sank three straight mid-range attempts, Gillingham hit two three-pointers, and Palan made two jump shots and a three-pointer. He even converted on a layup as the buzzer sounded to cap the quarter. It was arguably the best basketball Carrollton had played to start a game all season long.
In the second quarter and got the lead to 28-17 with 6:45 to go until halftime. That is when the Panthers size took over and the Hawks shooting went cold.
Jerseyville outrebounded Carrollton 36-18 for the game and practically collected anything in the air that was closest to the ceiling.
“It always seemed like there was a 6’5” against a 5’7” and the ball would come out hard. So many rebounds came out hard and their size was just so much to their advantage,” Krumwiede said. “So many times their rebounds immediately resulted in two points on put-backs.”
The Panthers went on a 9-2 run in a three-minute stretch. But neither team scored in the final 3:05 of the second quarter as Carrollton held out with a 30-26 lead at halftime.
Several times Jerseyville threatened to take the lead in the third quarter, but Carrollton repelled them. From the 5:22 mark to the 3:00, the Hawks went on a 9-1 run to get out to a 40-33 lead. Then the Panthers rallied to cut the lead to 43-40 going into the final frame.
Carrollton did all they could to hold off Jerseyville, but with less than five minutes to play the Panthers took the lead at 47-45. Carrollton momentarily got back up 48-47 courtesy of a Gillingham three-pointer, but the Panthers retook the lead for good on their following possession.
Jerseyville would take a 55-50 lead into the final minute, but Carrollton did not go away quietly. Palan got a rare offensive rebound for Carrollton and scored to cut the deficit to 55-52. He then fouled Luke Shively, who made one of two foul shots. With 28.2 left, Gillingham rimmed out an NBA range three-pointer and Carrollton subsequently almost forced a 10 second count on Jerseyville, but the Panthers called timeout.
Shively was fouled again and made both of his free throws. Palan nailed a desperation trey with 5.8 seconds left to keep things interesting. Carrollton immediately fouled Kanallakak, who proceeded to miss his first free throw, which made the Jerseyville faithful nervous. He then put the fire out by making his second to ice the game.
"We had too many turnovers, too many missed shots, and really it all comes down to the rebounding,” Krumwiede said. “It was ridiculous of how much we got dominated. We are a team that lives off rebounding advantages.”
“To pull this upset we needed long possessions that resulted in layups or free throws and I don’t think we ever bought into that,” Krumwiede said. “Part of it is maybe it’s the fact that we did hit all of those shots early.”
erseyville (15-10) snapped a two game losing streak and will travel to Triad to take on the Trojans at 7:30 p.m. on Friday.
Carrollton (21-4) will look to bounce back in a big game against Calhoun (14-7) in Carrollton at 7:30 p.m. on Friday.