Hawks comeback bid falls short against Panorama basketball
Fighting for supremacy in the West Central Activities Conference, Panorama (9-1, 6-1) notched its second win against Woodward-Granger (4-7, 3-5) this season with a 67-63 victory Tuesday in Woodward.
Not Slip Slidin' Away
Paul Simon once wrote, "The nearer you are your destination, the more you're slip slidin' away." Those lyrics were true Friday night against conference contender ACGC as Woodward let a 37-31 lead slip away for a one-possession loss. Facing a 41-29 deficit against Panorama, the Hawks found a way to flip the tune and mount a dangerous comeback bid.
After shrinking Panorama's lead to 52-42 after the third quarter, a few savvy plays suddenly flipped the night upside-down. Looking for a back-shoulder layup, Trevor Simmons slung a pass inside for a Carter Moran layup, nailing the and-one attempt. And following a trey from Worth Henry, a Dylan Backe steal knotted things up 54-54.
And after being silenced for a chunk of the night, Walker Deputy stepped up to take a 57-56 lead with a three-pointer midway through the fourth quarter. A series of free throws from Brody Nardini kept alternating the lead, but a timely put-back on a bonus Panorama free throw was too much to overcome with under 10 seconds remaining in the game.
"We did a great job tonight at the end," Woodward head coach Brent Achenbach said. "We just couldn't come up with a couple of important rebounds and they've got a couple of kids that really get after it on the glass. They got the put-back and a couple of points difference in the game."
Pulling it together
With two close games against teams vying for the WCAC title, Achenbach said he feels the team is turning a corner as he expected coming into the season.
"I think those first few games of the year showed our lack of experience at the varsity level and figuring out the speed of games," Achenbach said. "But we came out against Madrid and for whatever reason, somehow figured out the speed and we started to play harder. It carried over to Pleasantville. Carried over to ACGC and over to this game."
He added that while there are still things to clean up — turnovers, getting boxed out of rebounds, as noted against Panorama — he loves the team's competitiveness.
That was on full display Tuesday as both Henry (18 points) and Backe (14) hit new career-high totals. Nardini (12) also crossed double digits while Deputy (9) and Moran (8) played more secondary roles with crucial plays down the stretch.
Working outside the conference schedule Thursday night, the Hawks head over to Coon Rapids-Bayard. Woodward has won the past two years against the Crusaders.