Panthers top Dreher in Claw Classic tournament


The Batesburg-Leesville Panthers topped Dreher last Thursday in the Chapin Claw Classic. The weekend before Christmas, the Panthers dropped two games at Heathwood Hall in the Home Pest Control Holiday Classic. The boys are now 3-4 overall.

They were to play two more games at Chapin in the Christmas Tournament before returning to regular season action on Jan. 3 with Ben Lippen at home. On Jan. 7, the Panthers will travel to Gilbert for the rematch with the Indians. Details for the girls’ contests were not available at press time, but they dropped two contests at Heathwood Hall as well and will return to action on Jan. 3.

Heathwood Hall 58, B-L 33

In the opener, the Panthers were dominated by the Highlanders. In the first quarter, the Panthers trailed 20-2 before being down 37-11 at the half as the Panthers were playing without Darius Dennis, Shauntrel Hendrix and Vernard Ramage, who were competing in the Columbia Metro Senior Bowl. B-L played well in the third quarter as they cut the lead to 42-23 but were never really in the game as Heathwood Hall won 58-33.  B-L scorers: Marvin Gantt 10, Amah-Dre Leaphart 8, Chamajd Hyland 7, Jahmad Barr-Williams 4, DT Jackson 2, Travis Williams 2.

Eau Claire 53, B-L 52

In the second game of the Heathwood Hall Home Pest Control Holiday Classic, the Panthers squared off with future region foe Eau Claire. The Shamrocks came out of the gates quickly building a 19-7 lead at the end of the first quarter.  However, a strong second quarter by the Panthers would see them fight back to make it 28-21 at halftime.

Travis Williams, Dennis and Hendrix each scored four points in the quarter as B-L got back into the game. The teams would have a back and forth affair throughout the third as B-L continued to inch their way back into the game as they only trailed by six, 42-36 at the end of the quarter. In the fourth quarter, the Panthers would fight all the way back as their pressing defense forced turnovers and the Panthers were able convert into points. However, it wasn’t enough as the Shamrocks managed to hold off the Panthers down the stretch to win 53-52.  The Panthers had balanced scoring in the game as Leaphart led the Panthers with 12 points as seven Panthers scored.  B-L scorers: Leaphart 12, Dennis 10, Travis Williams 10, Hendrix 8, Keshoun Williams 8, Gantt 2, Barr-Williams 2.

B-L 58, Chapin 56

At Chapin, the Panthers and the Eagles, old region foes, battled in a high-passed contest with B-L leading 15-13 at the end of the first quarter as Dennis led B-L with four. In the second quarter, B-L would extend the lead slightly to 23-20 as Hyland led B-L with four points. In the third quarter the Eagles would drain three three-pointers as they cut the lead back to two in the back and forth contest 41-39.

Keshoun Williams was strong in the second half as he scored all nine of his points, including six in the fourth quarter.  Again the Panther defense would be strong enough down the stretch as they managed to hold on to win 58-56. Hyland led the Panthers with 12 points while James Beck led Chapin with 20 points.  B-L scorers: Hyland 12, Dennis 10, Damahzay Long 10, K. Willias 9, Hendrix 6, Leaphart 6, Gantt 3, T. Williams 2.

Story by Jay Hendrix / Published January 2, 2020