JOHN CURTIS - Daily Union Sports Editor
SHELBYVILLE, IL. —
Central A&M went to the playoffs in football, changed jerseys and came out the gate to open the basketball season beating Arcola by 20 points, 67-47. O.K., but then they pummeled Pana on Tuesday, 72-50.
Maybe there is a reason the Raiders got a vote in the Class A high school rankings. A&M didn’t just beat Pana, they slice and diced them. They out-rebounded them, picked their pockets and shared the basketball. A&M had five, almost six players in double figures. A&M out-scored Pana in every period, including a 17-5 run in the 2nd.
The Raiders assaulted Pana early taking an 18-13 lead in the 1st period. Then came the blitz in the 2nd.
to put A&M up by 17 points at the break, 35-18. A&M scored as many points in the 1st quarter as Pana did in the 1st half.
From there the Panthers almost matched A&M in the 2nd half, but not quite. Pana came out of the locker room renewed. They cut the lead to 12 points, before the voracious Raiders pushed it back out to a 21-point lead heading into the 4th, 55-34. Fro there it was academic, just don’t let them cut into the deficit and time was on A&M’s side.
Spencer Garner led all scorers with 18 points, including a trey, twice as many points as the top Pana scorer. Then came five more Raider players with double-digit, or near double-digit scoring. Curtis Ramsey had 11 points. Andrew Bray scored 11 with a pair of treys. Trent Chepan had 11 points, going 3-for-3 at the line. Reece Ade had 10 points, with a trey. Alex Snyder scored nine points, but also led A&M on the boards with nine rebounds.
Pana was led by Alex Metzger with nine points and five steals. Kyle Gibson and Jordan Clark had eight points, each. Clark had a team-high seven boards for Pana.
Central A&M (2-0) plays hosts Okaw Valley on Saturday, while Pana (0-1) hosts Mt. Zion.
Central A&M 72, Pana 50
A&M stats: Garner 18 (6-2s, 1-3 pt FGs, 3/5 FTs), 4 rebounds, 6 assists, 2 steals; Ramsey 11 (5 FGs, 1/8 FTs), 5 rebounds, 2 assists, 8 steals; Bray 11 (2-2s, 2-3 FGs, 1/1 FTs), Chepan 11 (4 FGs, 3/3 FTs); Ade 10 (4 FGs, 1/9 FTs), 4 rebounds, 5 assists; Snyder 9 (4 FGs, 1/5 FTs), 9 rebounds, 2 assists; Richardson 2 (FG, 0/1 FTs). Team FGs 29. 3-Pointers: 4 (Bray 2, Garner, Ade). Team FTs 10-of-25.
Pana stats: Metzger 9 (1-2, 1-3 pt FGs, 4/4 FTs), 5 steals; Gibson 8 (1-2, 1-3 pt FGs, 1/1 FTs); Clark 8 (4 FGs), 7 rebounds; Hudlin 6 (2 FGs, 2/2 FTs); Rybolt 5 (2 FGs, 1/1 FTs); Zahradka 4 (1-3 pt FG, 1/2 FTs); Hester 4 (2 FGs), 10 rebounds; Kircher 4 (2 FGs), 2 rebounds, 4 blocks; Trexler 2 (FG). Team FGs 19. 3-Pointers: 3 (Gibson Metzger, Zahradka). Team FTs 9-of-10.