Before heading out to Greenville to attend the wedding of a good friend’s daughter (where, by the way, we saw a cool rainbow and also learned to do the Wobble line-dance) we traveled to Anna to check out some boys basketball action.
Sixteen teams participated in the Anna Shootout, held in the Coyotes beautiful new gym. Van Alstyne competed in a pool with teams from Ferris, Bonham and Melissa on the card.
In the opener against Ferris, Colin McCaskill came through with tough play in the paint, scoring nine points in the final minutes of a 59-49 win over the Yellowjackets.
The Panthers got off to a 6-2 start on the 3-point shooting of Zach Davis and never trailed. Two short jumpers by Bailey Thorpe gave Van Alstyne a 32-24 lead after the first 20 minutes of action.
Midway through the second half, Blake Linnebur buried a shot from the top of the arc, giving the Panthers a 10-point edge.
Ferris turned up the defensive pressure and cut into that lead, scoring on a 3-pointer to make it a 44-42 game with just over seven minutes left in the contest.
The two teams traded buckets for the next few trips, and with five minutes left McCaskill went to work. Scoring first on a rebound put-back as he was fouled, then finishing off another old-school, 3-point play, the Panther lead was pushed up to 10.
McCaskill’s final basket, a drive down the paint, kept the lead at 10 as the Panthers got the shootout off to a positive start. They came back an hour later and dropped an overtime decision to the Melissa Cardinals before wrapping up play with a win over Bonham.
Other players competing for the Panthers in Anna were Harrison Awe, Isaiah Bolen,Jake Hillebrenner, Joey Jackson and Jared McMakin.