The Van Alstyne boys varsity team held off a late-game charge by the visiting Gainesville Leopards to come away with a 62-55 win. That victory completed a three-team sweep for the Panther hoops program on Monday.
A basket by Isaiah Boling early in the third quarter gave the Panthers a 15-point lead. Van Alstyne had enjoyed an 18-point advantage in the second quarter only to see the Leopards make a charge to cut that lead to ll at the break.
Gainesville went on a 6-0 run following Boling’s bucket before a four-point play by Zach Davis bumped the lead back to double-digits.
Davis scored 13 points in the second quarter to break out of a scoring slump that could be partially attributed to a knee injury he suffered at the Allen Tournament. He finished with 17 on Monday, leading the Panthers in the contest.
The Leopards went on an 8-0 run early in the fourth quarter, and a steal and basket by Jonathan Mendez cut the Van Alstyne lead down to three. Mendez drained a 3 from the top of the arc to tie the score at 51-51 with just over five minutes left on the clock.
The Panther defense stepped up, holding the Leopards to just four points over those final minutes. A steal and drive to the iron by Jared McMakin, a basket by Boling and a Davis feed to Colin McCaskill on a dive cut down the paint pushed the lead back to five as Van Alstyne notched win number 16 on the season.
McCaskill scored nine of the Panthers 12 first quarter points and Davis led a 3-point attack on the basket in the second. The senior nailed three from beyond the arc and Seth Caraway had two from downtown to close out the first half.
Sub-varsity Notes:In earlier action, Grayson Leinart scored 13 points and Luke Hundt and Mason Adams added 10 each as the freshmen beat Gainesville 52-15 to lead off the Monday afternoon program.
Jacob Williams scored 11 points and Brandon Balch and Dont’e Kehler had nine each as the junior varsity also won, 45-31.
The Panthers return to district play Friday night, hosting Farmersville.
Gainesville 11 17 12 15 — 55
Van Alstyne 12 27 12 11 — 62
VA (16-2): Zach Davis 17, Colin McCaskill 16, Bailey Thorpe 11, Seth Caraway 6,Isaiah Boling 6, Jared McMakin 4, Jake Hillebrenner 2.