By Shannon Fagan, WEIS Sports Director
COLLINSVILLE – The Collinsville Panthers made their debut in the new Donny Jones Gymnasium to mixed results.
Jake Middlebrooks scored 13 points and Gavin Lang netted 12 in leading the Panther boys to a 39-21 win over Cedar Bluff. In girls action, Kylie Vadon scored a game-high 17 points and grabbed seven rebounds in leading the Lady Tigers to a 44-21 victory.
In the boys game, both teams struggled offensively, but the Panther defense managed to hold off a late Tiger run and pulled away in the fourth for final.
“I think we’re pretty good on defense right now,” Collinsville coach Jon Tidmore said. “We’re playing hard and rebounding well, but we’re really bad on offense – not because of shooting, but because of decision making and patience. We’ve got a long way to grow to become more patient and make better decisions.”
Collinsville (4-1) managed to hold a 10-3 first-quarter lead and led 24-9 at halftime. The Panthers held a 32-18 edge after three quarters before Cedar Bluff (1-7) tried to make a game of it.
A 3-pointer by Israel Morrison cut the Panther advantage to 32-21 with just over seven minutes left. The Tigers had chances to cut their deficit even further, but couldn’t capitalize.
“We’re working on the little things,” Cedar Bluff coach Johnny Amison said. “We’ve only got one person on our team that’s been in this kind of environment, so we’re learning on the go. I’ve got a lot of young ones who have never played varsity basketball, but we’re learning and we’re getting better.”
No Cedar Bluff player reached double figures. Daishaun Johnson and Kadin Fife both scored six points to lead the Tigers. Morrison finished with five points.
Zach Clanton also finished with five points for the Panthers.
In the girls game, Janaya Higgins added eight points for Cedar Bluff, including a pair of 3-pointers. She also had three assists, two steals and two rebounds. Ciana Smith contributed eight points, 10 rebounds, two assists, a steal and a block. Caley Bruce finished with six points and six rebounds.
Carlee Davis and Bella Wills both led Collinsville with eight points. Wills had a pair of 3-pointers.
Cedar Bluff held a 10-7 lead at the end of the first quarter and built a 23-14 advantage at halftime. The Lady Tigers went on 12-3 run in the third to take a 35-17 edge after three quarters.
Cedar Bluff hosts Jacksonville Christian on Friday. Collinsville hosts Sand Rock.