League victory over the Panthers.
NEW CONCORD — John Glenn coach Greg Woodard made a nice discovery Friday as the season nears the mid-way point: his team is a resilient bunch.
After putting together a solid first half and taking a 15-point lead, the Muskies saw visiting Maysville claw its way back within four points early in the fourth quarter.
With a young team like John Glenn, that could have spelled disaster, but the hosts regrouped nicely and took full advantage of the free throw line down the stretch to earn a key 60-49 Muskingum Valley League victory over the Panthers.
In sending Maysville (7-2, 5-2 MVL) to its second straight defeat, John Glenn improved to 6-3 overall and 5-2 in the MVL and stayed within striking range of league-leading Tri-Valley.
Maysville got the game’s first points, but John Glenn went on a 9-0 surge — two close range goals by sophomore Rob Metry, a steal and goal by junior Charlie Karling and a three-pointer by junior Josh Fraunfelter — to open a 9-2 lead at the 4:49 mark of round one.
A 6-2 edge in he last four minutes got Maysville within 11-8 at the quarter break.
The Muskies blitzed the Panthers with a 13-0 flurry to open the second period, with three-point plays by sophomore Avery Allender and junior Devin Fitzgerald starting and ending the run and pushing John Glenn’s lead to 24-8 with five minutes left in the first half.
The spread was 10 points (28-18) until the Muskies’ Karling knocked down a “triple” and a “deuce” in the final 30 seconds to widen the gap to 33-18 at the intermission.
Neither team made much headway in the third quarter, with Maysville gaining a slight 11-9 advantage to trim the hosts’ lead to 42-29 heading to the final frame.
Maysville came to life to start the fourth period as junior Jared Cox nailed a “trey”; junior Eastin Lewellen (a thorn in the Muskies’ side all night long) converted a three-point play and junior Corey Denman hit from beyond the bonus arc for a 9-0 run which pulled the Panthers within four, 42-38, with six minutes remaining.
John Glenn got the next five points to stave off the Panthers and push the lead back to nine (47-38) while 12-of-15 free throw accuracy in the last period kept the visitors at bay.
“I was proud of the resiliency we showed late because young teams tend to crack in that type of situation and we didn’t do that,” said John Glenn’s Woodard. “They threw their best punch at us and got it down to four, but our kids really showed some maturity in not cracking.
“You look a lot prettier when you make shots and we did that in the first half,” Woodard continued. “We got the same looks in the second half…they just didn’t fall for us. We did a good job of knocking free throws in again and that’s been a strong point for us so far.”
John Glenn received solid play from its nine-man rotation, with Karling tops the scoring column with 14 points. Fitzgerald was next in line with 11 while Metry had 10. Junior Haven Holdcroft led the Muskie rebounders with nine while Fraunfelter, Metry and freshman Jake Heagen each had six. Metry also had three assists.
Lewellen was the “horse” for the Panthers with 26 points and nine rebounds. Cox and Denham provided seven points apiece.
The Muskies were 19-of-49 from the field (38.8 percent) and 19-of-23 from the charity stripe (82.6 percent) compared to 19-of-51 (37.3 percent) from the floor and 8-of-13 at the line (61.5 percent) for the Panthers.
John Glenn had a 40-27 rebounding edge and was charted with 14 turnovers, one less than the visitors.
Woodard likes what he’s seen from his young team as the season nears its mid-way point, and he sees a promising second half on the horizon.
“We’ve got a lot of kids who share the ball and play well together,” he said. “They don’t care who scores; they’re just excited to get a win and what’s scary is they can get so much better.”