Panthers cruise past Irish, 61-36

 CHAPMAN — Nearly five minutes into the game, the Concordia Panthers were 1 of 10 from the field, had missed all eight field goal attempts from inside the three-point arc, and trailed one-win Chapman 9-5.
The Panthers turned things around in a hurry, giving up just 27 points over the final three and a half quarters, and pouring in 56 to cruise to a 61-36 North Central Kansas League victory over the Irish Friday night.
A quick three-point basket by Kaleb Pounds gave Concordia a 3-0 lead.
The Panthers would then miss nine straight field goal attempts, and got only two free throws by Cooper Holmes as Chapman used a 9-2 spurt to grab the 9-5 advantage.
“We rushed some shots offensively, and we didn’t execute on the offensive end and we gave up some offensive rebounds  which led to some of their points,” Concordia coach Michael Roe said, “We know we do that, and we just need to work not to do that.”
A basket by Holmes, a jumper by Jace Coppoc and then a three by Holmes put Concordia on top to stay, 12-9.
Chapman got a bucket by Chris Blatt, and trailed just 12-11 heading into the second quarter.
Concordia, now 11-4 overall and 6-1 in league play, scored the first eight points to open up a 20-11 advantage.
It was a 22-15 game when the Panthers shut out the Irish over the final four minutes of the second period, and poured in 11 points to stretch the lead to 33-15.
Cooper Holmes scored six of the points, and Grant Holmes added five.
Connecting on 7 of 13 field goal attempts and eight of eight free throws, Cooper Holmes scored 23 points. He also pulled down nine rebounds.
Grant Holmes finished with 13 points and 15 rebounds.
“That really propelled us. It gave us the momentum we needed,” Roe said of the run at the end of the first half.
A follow by Grant Holmes and a basket by Cooper Holmes pushed Concordia’s lead to 37-15 early in the third quarter.
Chapman, now 1-15 overall and 0-7 in the NCKL, got a jumper by Kade Sims to make it a 37-17 game.
It was all Panthers after that.
Ethan Bechard scored on a drive to start a 12-0 Concordia run that made it a 49-17 game.
Bechard scored all six of his points during that stretch. He was three of five from the field.
Chapman’s Bryce Winters ended the run by knocking down a three, but Chapman still trailed 49-20.
Concordia allowed just three field goals in the third period, and led 51-22 heading into the fourth.
“I thought we kind of made it tough on them. We rebounded the ball well and we put pressure on their perimeter game,” Roe said, “We executed the game play better from the end of the first quarter. That was nice to see.”
Chapman did outscore Concordia 14-10 in the final quarter, but the deficit was too great.
Jace Coppoc was three of four from the field in scoring six points for the Panthers.
Concordia hit 22 of 50 field goal attempts for 44 percent and 14 of 16 free throws for 88 percent.
“That is something we really focus on in practice is shooting free throws. It is nice to see that practice pay off in games,” Roe said.
Kade Stroud led Chapman with eight points.

Mars 2-0-0 4, Coppoc 3-0-1 6, Pounds 2-0-1 5, Garcia 0-0-3 0, Streeter 0-2-0 2, Wetter 0-0-2 0, Bechard 3-0-2 6, G. Holmes 4-4-1 13, Nordell 1-0-1 2, C. Holmes 7-8-1 23.
Winters 2-0-2 6, Sims 2-0-1 4, Blixt 1-0-1 3, Blatt 3-0-0 7, Stroud 4-0-5 8, Lexow 0-0-5 0, Canaday 2-0-2 4, Harris 1-2-0 4, Hettenbach 0-0-1 0. Totals: 15-2-16 36.


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