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VA, Howe Basketball Always a Thriller

Leader Photos by Jack Walker Van Alstyne sophomore Jack Hillebrenner driving the ball on Howe’s Brice HarveyBuy Photo
Leader Photos by Jack Walker Van Alstyne sophomore Jack Hillebrenner driving the ball on Howe’s Brice Harvey
Leader Photos by Jack Walker Isaiah Boling, in white, scored the winning basket for Van Alstyne in the closing seconds.Buy Photo
Leader Photos by Jack Walker Isaiah Boling, in white, scored the winning basket for Van Alstyne in the closing seconds.

Yes, it was just a summer league basketball game when Van Alstyne hosted Howe on June 13. Didn’t mean that much except to the guys playing and their fans watching.

But just like Terrell Owens loves him some him, we love us some hoops.

The Panthers staged a second-half comeback to post a 66-65 win over the Bulldogs in a game reminiscent of their December 4 battle in Howe.

The Bulldogs were dominating throughout most of the first half, leading at one point by a dozen, before the Panthers started a comeback. A Seth Caraway 3-pointer cut the Howe lead to just three as the first 25 minutes ended.

Caraway was knocking down treys from any spot on the court he could find an opening as the Bulldogs were reluctant to come outside on the big man.

Howe’s big, John Jacob Talley, was doing his thing throughout most of the first half, scoring from down low and making nice passes to cutters in the paint. Michael Kehrer was the beneficiary of several of those dimes, laying in a few easy deuces and showing skill with his mid-range jumper. Kehrer got a steal at the Van Alstyne end midway through the first period and dropped in an easy shot that gave Howe its biggest lead of the night.

The second half was like that gosh-awful cable show that thankfully got canceled after a brief run — Nip and Tuck.

The Panthers could never get a lead as Howe had an answer for every shot the hosts made. With just over seven minutes left in the contest, Bailey Thorpe scored on a short jumper from the left side to tie the game, 59-59.

A scoop shot at the other end by Easton Ross put Howe back up before a Thorpe free throw tied it at 61 each.

Blake Linnebur answered a Howe bucket to keep the game tied.

With Howe leading 65-63 and time running down, Isaiah Boling knocked down a 3-ball from the left corner, putting the Panthers on top, 66-65 with just under a minute left.

Howe had two chances to reclaim the lead but both came up empty as Van Alstyne won the thriller.

The other guys who made the trip from Howe were: Brice Harvey, Levi Mrozinski, Nick Wilson, Stratton Carroll, Alex Isenhower, Sam Akins, Quinton Harris, Clay Slaughter and Griffin Underwood.

Joining those already mentioned for the Panthers were Harrison Awe, Jake Hillebrenner, C.J.Lowing, Denny Graham, Zach Davis, Colin McCaskill and Jacob Williams.

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