Fast start fizzles as Pennfield falls short

Fast start fizzles as Pennfield falls short

Everything was going according to plan for the Pennfield boys basketball team. Until it wasn’t.

Despite an impressive start, the Panthers struggled late as Plainwell defeated Pennfield, 56-49, in boys basketball non-conference action at Pennfield High School on Tuesday.

Pennfield ran off to a 17-4 lead in the first quarter as the Panthers held Plainwell to 1-of-10 shooting from the field in the first six minutes of the contest. During that stretch, Pennfield’s Brenden Duncan had nine points to lead the early push.

However, Pennfield had six turnovers in the second quarter and gave up seven offensive rebounds in those eight minutes, as Plainwell had gained a 27-24 lead by halftime.

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And with the first six points of the second half, Plainwell was on a 26-7 run that had the Panthers reeling and trailing 33-24.

“Really pleased with the way we came out. The way we played that first quarter was fantastic,” Pennfield Coach Nate Burns said. “But I just couldn’t sustain it.

“They started beating us to loose balls. We lost focus and that leads to turnovers and giving up offensive rebounds.”

To Pennfield’s credit, the Panthers rallied to take a slim lead by the end of the third quarter on a three-point play by Graham Boyd to make it 38-37. Boyd would finish with 22 points and nine rebounds for the Panthers with Duncan also finishing with 22 points and nine rebounds.

But more turnovers early in the fourth quarter and two more key Offensive rebounds, giving Plainwell extra possessions, and the visitors had jumped back on top. A 3-pointer by Plainwell’s Shawn Nelson gave the Trojans a 47-42 lead with 3:45 remaining. Pennfield wouldn’t get any closer.

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