|Commandos come up one point short against Panthers|
|Friday, December 12, 2008|
By Deon Russell
The Commandos were unable to hold the Panthers off, and Portland slipped away with a 42-41 win.
“Our guys played hard,” said Hendersonville coach Kerry West. “But I think our inexperience showed tonight.
“We had several chances to win, but we couldn’t get it done.”
Ryne Nicholson led the Commandos’ offense with a team high 13 points, and Reece Hayes contributed 12 points in the loss.
With Portland leading 8-3 early in the game, Nicholson converted a three-point play to the lead to just three points.
With Portland leading 10-7, Ryan Brown went 2-of-2 from the line with 45 seconds left to play in the opening quarter to hold the Panther lead at just one point, 10-9.
Brown finished the night with three points.
The Commandos battled back to tie the game at 23 going into the half.
There were seven lead changes in the second quarter, and neither team was able to get up by more than three points.
Portland’s Zach Henson gave the Panthers a 21-18 advantage midway through the quarter, but Hendersonville’s Hayes managed to tie the game at 21 with a three-pointer.
Daniel Tucker gave the Commandos a 23-21 lead late in the quarter, but Portland’s Matt Estes tied the game just before the half.
Estes led all scorers with 16 points on the night.
The two teams battled to a 7-7 stalemate in the quarter.
“We only have one starter back from last year,” said West. “So, it was a new experience for these guys to be in a close varsity game. It was a good learning experience.”
The Panthers were able to hold off the Commandos in the fourth and final period, and they outscored the Commandos 12-11 to secure the win.
The loss dropped Hendersonville to 2-4 on the year, as they prepare to host rival Gallatin Friday in an important District 9AAA matchup.
“Our kids are playing hard,” said West. “We are just maybe a little behind in our offensive output.
“We need to be able to score more points,” added West. “Against good opponents, we have to be able to put more points on the scoreboard.”