RILEY — Short-term memory loss can sometimes be a good thing in sports, and it worked well for the Concordia Panthers.
The Panthers put a heartbreaking home loss to Holton on Saturday night behind them, and raced to a 68-38 win over Riley County on Tuesday night.
Concordia took control of the game late in the first quarter, opened up a 42-16 halftime advantage and then coasted to the 30-point win.
“We didn’t let Saturday night’s loss affect us. We just came out and played to our potential and played well in all aspects,” Concordia coach Michael Roe said.
Gabe Bergmann scored the first four points of the game for the Panthers, but Riley County got a basket by JonRoss Maddox and a three by Bryce Chavis to take its only lead, 5-4.
A three-point basket by Cooper Holmes gave Concordia the lead back at 7-5.
Holmes led all scorers with 19 points. He was seven of eight from the field and three of three from the free throw line and also had eight rebounds.
Chavis scored on a drive to tie the game at 7-7.
The Panthers (11-5) then pumped in nine straight points, four each by Cooper Holmes and Grant Holmes, to grab a 16-7 lead.
Joel Marienau hit one of two free throws for Riley County, but Concordia answered with a three by Kaleb Pounds.
Brice Brummett scored for the Falcons.
Grant Holmes hit a three in the final seconds of the first quarter, and the Panthers had a 22-10 lead.
Knocking down five of eight field goal attempts and two of two free throws, Grant Holmes finished with 13 points. He had four rebounds, three assists and two steals.
The two teams exchanged baskets for the first three minutes of the second period.
It was 30-16 when Concordia got a basket by Gabe Bergmann and a three-point shot by Cooper Holmes to make it 35-16.
Grant Holmes followed up a missed free throw by Bergmann, and then Bergmann pulled down an offensive rebound and scored to give the Panthers a 39-16 advantage.
Cooper Holmes buried a three with time running out in the first half to up the lead to 42-16.
“I thought we did a nice job defensively against what they wanted to do. I thought we made it tough on them,” Roe said.
Two free throws by Grant Holmes and a layup by Alan Garcia in the first minute of the second half put Concordia on top by 30 points, 46-16.
The Panthers would manage just two free throws by Garcia over the next four minutes.
“We went a little stagnant in the third quarter. It is hard to keep going, keep pushing,” Roe said.
Riley County scored five points during that stretch to make it a 48-21 game.
Concordia finished the third quarter with a flurry.
Four straight points by Cooper Holmes and then four straight by reserve guard Kaleb Pounds gave the Panthers a 56-21 cushion heading into the final eight minutes of the game.
Roe was able to empty his bench in the final quarter, and Riley County outscored the Panthers 17-12.
Concordia had eight players score in the game.
Bergmann finished with nine points, seven rebounds and three steals.
Garcia chipped in eight points, three assists and two steals.
Pounds scored seven points, and Jerod Toogood added five points.
The Panthers were 27 of 48 from the field for 56 percent and made five of eight three-point attempts.
Concordia came up with 12 steals in the game.
“When we are getting steals and running the floor we are a lot better,” Roe said.
Chavis led Riley County with 11 points. Marienau scored seven.
Concordia will host Chapman in a North Central Kansas League game on Friday night.
Coppoc 1-0-0 3, K. Pounds 3-0-1 7, Garcia 3-2-2 8, J. Pounds 2-0-0 4, G. Holmes 5-2-1 13, Toogood 2-1-0 5, C. Holmes 7-3-1 19, Bergmann 4-1-2 9. Totals: 27-9-7 68.
RILEY COUNTY (38)
Buss 2-0-4 5, Nelson 2-0-2 4, Brummett 2-0-1 4, Griffith 0-0-2 0, Jordan 1-0-0 2, Marienau 3-1-0 7, Shoemaker 0-1-1 1, Chavis 5-0-3 11, Maddox 2-0-3 4. Totals: 16 38.