BELOIT — The Panthers seemed to have the Beloit Trojans right where they wanted them, but couldn’t capitalize.
Coming off playing in the Class 3A football state championship game, the Trojans had several players with just four days of practice under their belts.
Beloit’s leading returning scorer, Payton Vetter, got into early foul trouble and spent a good portion of the game on the bench.
The Trojans got a big first half by sophomore Colson Reames in the first half and 12 points by sophomore Bailey Vetter in the second half to overcome those obstacles and defeat the Panthers 63-48 in the season opener Friday night.
“Coming off of four days of practice, I was surprised how well they shot the ball. They played a great game,” Concordia coach Michael Roe said of the Trojans, “The Reames kid got hot, and young Vetter knocked down a couple of shots.”
With Payton Vetter in foul trouble early, Reames scored 11 of his 13 points in the first half as the Trojans grabbed a 29-26 lead.
With the game tied at 42-42 heading into the fourth quarter, Bailey Vetter scored eight of his 17 points in the final eight minutes as the Trojans pulled away to the win.
Payton Vetter made the most of his minutes, finishing with 17 points, including seven in the final period.
Concordia’s three experienced returnees, Grant Holmes, Cooper Holmes and Kaleb Pounds, were a combined 14 of 43 from the field.
The other three Panthers who played were 4 of 16, and combined for just eight points.
“We played three guys who played all JV last year. Now we ask these three kids to step up in a varsity role. It is going to take time for them to get comfortable playing,” Roe said, “It is one of those things. It is going to take time for us to jell together.”
Concordia was led by Grant Holmes with 22 points. He hit 7 of 17 field goal attempts and four of six free throws and also had 12 rebounds.
Sophomore Cooper Holmes, who was double and triple teamed all night, was 4 of 13 from the floor and two of two from the line for 10 points and had nine rebounds and five steals.
Kaleb Pounds made 3 of 13 from the field in scoring eight points.
“Grant made some great shots in the first half. We did get Cooper the ball, but they double and triple teamed him and we didn’t have anybody step up and make shots at the right time,” Roe said.
Concordia finished just 18 of 59 from the field for 31 percent, and made just 6 of 25 three-point attempts for 24 percent.
The Panthers had an early 5- 2 lead, but Beloit pumped in eight straight points to go up 10-5, and would not trail again in the first half.
Concordia did pull even at 12-12 late in the first quarter, but a three by Bailey Vetter and a follow by Sam Pahls gave the Trojans a 17-12 cushion.
Beloit led 29-21 in the second period, when Cooper Holmes made two free throws and Grant Holmes buried a three to get Concordia within three points, 29-26, heading into halftime.
The Trojans pushed the lead to eight points, 36-28, early in the second half.
A three-point play by Grant Holmes, a three-point shot by Pounds, a layup by Gilberth Garcia and a baseline jumper by Jace Coppoc gave Concordia a 38-36 lead.
The two teams traded baskets, and the game was tied 42-42 going into the fourth quarter.
Beloit led 48-46 when Payton Vetter hit a three to start an 11-0 run that made it 59-46.
“We don’t have the confidence in our game to come back from something like that,” Roe said.
Grant Holmes made two free throws to cut the deficit to 11 points, but that is as close as the Panthers would get.
Concordia plays at Republic County on Tuesday night.
Coppoc 1-0-0 2, Pounds, 3-0-3 8, Garcia 1-0-1 2, Bechard 2-0-3 4, G. Holmes 7-4-3 22, C. Holmes 4-2-3 10. Totals: 18-6-13 48.
Riemann 2-0-2 4, B. Vetter 5-6-1 17, P. Vetter 7-0-4 17, Jackson 3-0-1 6, Reames 6-0-1 13, Pahls 3-0-4 6. Totals: 26-6-13 63.