Parkland holds steady to beat Glenn in season opener

Parkland holds steady to beat Glenn in season opener
November 25
00:00 2015
Photo by Craig T. Greenlee Parkland’s Damien Thacker attempts to shoot over the outstretched arms of Glenn’s Elijah Scales.



The junior varsity basketball season tipped off in grand fashion as Parkland posted a 61-59 win over Glenn last Friday night. The Mustangs led for most of the game, but the Bobcats caused some anxious moments coming down the final stretch.

Early in the fourth quarter, Parkland had built a 47-35 cushion and seemed to have a firm grip on the game. Glenn, however, had other ideas. With Marcus Harris and Paul Carlton leading the way, the Bobcats made a strong run in the waning minutes, but they ran out of time.

Harris hit a high-arcing three-pointer from the left wing with three seconds remaining to cut the Bobcats’ deficit to two points.

The only issue, however, was that Harris’ shot came so late, that there was only about one second left to play. Parkland in-bounded the ball and the final buzzer sounded to end the game.

Daniel Leal was the top scorer for the Mustangs with a game-high 18 points. Damien Thacker, who finished with 16 points, hit some timely long-distance jumpers in the second half. For the game, Thacker had three, 3-pointers. Raequanne Key rounded out the double-figures scoring for Parkland with 10 points.

“I was impressed with our hustle,” said Coach James Williams of Parkland. “We did a good job of using our athleticism against a team that was bigger than us.”

The contributions of Leal and Zach Holmes were crucial in helping Parkland to withstand Glenn’s late-game comeback bid.

When Glenn pulled within five points of the lead, the game was still in doubt, and Leal took control. During a two-minute stretch, he scored a basket and four free throws to help the Mustangs maintain their lead. Holmes delivered a key block, which led to a Parkland basket in the closing moments.

“Damien [Thacker] came through for us and Daniel [Leal] hit some key shots late in the game,” said Williams. “But there are some areas that we need to work on. We have to do a better job with our man-to-man defense and with our box-outs on rebounds.”

The Bobcats had their chances, but poor free-throw shooting proved to be a major contributing factor to their downfall. With a better showing from the foul line, the outcome might have been different.

“For us, it came down to lack of focus,” said  Richard Daniels, who made his JV coaching debut on Friday. “That was pretty evident at the free-throw line. We hit just 7-of-22 foul shots and still only lost by two points. We have a lot to work on, but the good thing is that all the mistakes we made are fixable.”

Harris was the top offensive producer for Glenn with 12 points and Carlton chipped in with 11.

“In spite of our shortcomings, it’s good to see that we can execute coming down the stretch of a ball game,” said Daniels. “My team did play hard. All night long, the effort was there.”


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Craig Greenlee

Craig Greenlee

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