Panthers fight back for 54-44 win over Chapman

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A Chapman team coming off an emotional upset of Abilene in the final game of the regular season made a serious run at knocking off the Concordia Panthers in the opening round of the Class 4A sub-state tournament.
Knocking down eight three-point shots, including five by 6-7 Zach Heiman, the fifth-seeded Irish led the fourth-seeded Panthers most of the way through the first three quarters.
Concordia was able to score the first seven points, and then the final eight points of the final period to pull out a 54-44 win over Chapman Wednesday night in the Concordia Junior-Senior High School gymnasium.
“They were coming off a big win over Abilene. They are coming in expecting to win. Thinking they are going to knock down shots. Our kids did a great job of handling that and fighting through it,” Concordia coach Michael Roe said.
It was the third win this season for Concordia over its North Central Kansas League rival.
The Panthers (15-6) advance to the sub-state semifinals, and will play top-seeded Hesston (19-2) at 6:00 tonight in Abilene.
Hesston rolled over Clay Center 71-45 in its first-round game on Tuesday night.
In the other first-round games on Tuesday, second-seeded McPherson knocked off Smoky Valley 73-36 and third-seeded Abilene downed Buhler, 67-41.
Concordia will be the only team playing on consecutive nights.
“Yes and no,” Roe said about being at a disadvantage in playing to nights in a row, “I think we are in good enough shape we will be all right.”
Concordia got out to a 5-2 lead against Chapman in the first 2:24.
There would be seven lead changes over the final 1:55 of the first quarter, and Chapman was up 13-12 when Kyle Anderson followed up a missed shot in the final seconds.
Consecutive jumpers by Heiman extended Chapman’s lead to 18-12 early in the second period.
Heiman scored 21 of his 27 points in the first half.
“He is 6-7; if he takes you outside he can shoot over just about everybody. If he takes it inside the same things happen. He is a tough matchup for just about anybody,” Roe said.
Trailing 20-14, the Panthers got a three-point shot by Cooper Holmes and then two free throws by Holmes to close the gap to 20-19.
Holmes, a 6-3 freshman, finished with 24 points. He was 7 of 10 from the field and seven of seven from the free throw line, and had five rebounds.
Heiman followed up a 12-foot jumper with a three, and Chapman led 25-19.
The Irish scored just two points over the final 3:08 of the first half.
Concordia tossed in five points, four by Holmes, during that stretch, and trailed 27-24.
A basket by Anderson gave Chapman a 29-24 cushion 17 seconds into the second half.
Grant Holmes scored inside for Concordia, but Logan Lehmkuhl buried a three for Chapman.
Following another bucket by Grant Holmes, Lehmkuhl hit another three.
Concordia got a jumper by Kaleb Pounds and a three by Alan Garcia to get within two, 35-33.
Lehmkuhl struck from three-point range again.
The Panthers answered with threes by Pounds and Cooper Holmes, and had its first lead since the first quarter, 39-38.
A three by Heiman put Chapman back on top, 41-39, heading into the final quarter.
Concordia opened the fourth period with a three by Cooper Holmes, a follow by Joshua Pounds and a basket by Grant Holmes to go on top to stay, 46-41.
A three by Heiman pulled the Irish within two points, 46-44.
Chapman had the ball with a chance to tie or take the lead, but Garcia got a steal and a layup.
Following a Chapman miss, Garcia scored on a fast break, and it was 50-44.
“Alan does a great job of seeing us get a rebound and sprinting the floor, and the rest of the team does a good job of looking ahead,” Roe said.
Concordia hit just four of seven free throws over the final 1:12, but Chapman was scoreless the final 4:07.
“At this point you would like to play well, but if you don’t you win and move on,” Roe said.
Garcia hit four of six field goal attempts in scoring 10 points for Concordia. He also had five assists.
Gabe Bergmann finished with eight rebounds, and Joshua Pounds had five assists.
Concordia was 18 of 38 from the field for 47 percent and 12 of 19 from the line for 63 percent.

Lehmkuhl 3-0-3 9, Winters 0-0-2 0, Chewning 0-0-2 0, Leary 0-0-4 0, Harris 2-0-4 4, Heiman 11-0-3 27, Canaday 0-0-2 0, Anderson 2-0-2 4. Totals: 18-0-22 44.
K. Pounds 2-1-2 6, Garcia 4-0-1 10, J. Pounds 1-3-1 5, G. Holmes 3-1-3 7, C. Holmes 7-7-2 24, Bergmann 1-0-0 2. Totals: 18-12-8 54.


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