(January 20th, 2015) – STRYKER: After getting off to a slow start this season, the Panthers of Stryker have built a good bit of momentum of late. That momentum was put to the test when Liberty Center came to town last week.
It was a close game, but the visiting Tigers were able to sneak away with a 46-43 win over the hometown boys of Stryker.
The contest was tight throughout. Liberty Center came out just ahead in the first period, 14-13. Not deterred, the Panthers came roaring back in the second quarter. They claimed the lead for themselves at 26-22. With a 4 point advantage going into the locker room, Stryker had to be feeling confident about their chances against their North Western Ohio Athletic League foe.
With no signs of slowing down, the battle continued in the third quarter. The Tigers narrowly reacquired the lead by the conclusion of the period, 35-34. Both squads gave it their all in the contests final stanza. Down the stretch, however, the visiting Tigers were able to slip ahead of the Panthers in their own den, hanging on to a 3 point advantage.
Turnovers are always a big part of any basketball game, but they seem to particularly sting in the close ones. This contest was no different. Stryker’s 15 turnovers, while not terribly high, certainly had a negative impact on the outcome of the non-conference match-up. Especially when Liberty Center turns the ball over just 7 times.
Perimeter defense was another issue for Stryker. Liberty Center was allowed to connect on 6 different three-point attempts. Letting a team get that many open looks from long range is bound to lead to trouble.
Parker Ruffer led the Panthers in scoring. The rangy senior managed 13 points in the loss. Teammate Brody Shock put up 11 points against the Tigers’ defense. Tanner Clingaman was good for 5 points as well. All three players combined to produce all 3 of the Panthers’ successful three-point attempts.