H-P Sports Writer

Westwood shot 20 percent from the floor in the second quarter and 28 percent in the first half to fall behind 31-22 at halftime to Madisonville.

The halftime deficit proved to be too much as Madisonville defeated the Panthers 61-55 Tuesday at Panther Gymnasium.

Westwood hit 8-of-21 field goal attempts in the first half and 16-of-41 attempts for the entire game. The Panthers shot just 19 percent from behind the three-point line, hitting 5-of-22.

“This early in the season you will have that,” head coach David Reed said. “We had a good effort and we got beat by only six points by a pretty athletic team.”

Gralyn Crawford led all scorers with 26 points. Crawford hit 5-of-14 three-point attempts and shot 50 percent from the free throw line. Terris Nichols scored eight points and had four steals, while Tyler Coates had six points to go along with six rebounds.

“They did a good job, but we got out-rebounded,” Reed said. “We didn’t block anyone out.

“If you are 6-foot going up against a 6-2, 220-pound guy, you are going to lose that battle.”

Westwood started out strong hitting 5-of-9 field goals. The Panthers held the lead through most of the first quarter. Madisonville took the lead with 38 seconds left and led 14-13 at the end of the quarter.

Madisonville held Westwood scoreless for the first four minutes of the second quarter and kept Westwood without a field goal until Coates hit a layup with 33 seconds left in the half.

The Mustangs outscored Westwood 17-9 in the quarter, with Westwood having eight turnovers.

“We need to get better at the give-and-go instead of trying to drive in between three people,” Reed said. “Defensively, we played right into their hands by letting them go to the hole and try and block them.”

The Panthers opened the third quarter with an 8-5 run that saw Jacques Dewberry hit three straight field goals. Westwood had cut Madisonville’s lead to five with three minutes left. Crawford hit 1-2 free throws after a Madisonville technical foul to put the Panthers within four. Westwood outscored the Mustangs 18-14 in the quarter.

Madisonville jumped on the Panthers early in the fourth quarter and held Westwood scoreless for the first three minutes. Coates fouled out with 4:11 left in the game and Dewberry was called for his fourth with three minutes left.

With two minutes left and no center, Madisonville extended its lead to six points and held onto that lead for the remainder of the game.

“We are still trying to get a feel for our substitution rotation,” Reed said. “I didn’t sub enough for Gralyn and he got probably two minutes of rest time.

“We are going to have to have someone step up in that substitution role.”

Westwood will travels to Frankston Friday to take on the Class 2A pre-season No. 8 Indians. The freshman game is scheduled for 5 p.m.

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