The South Iron Panthers Continue their Perfect Season!
The South Iron Panthers boys basketball team is on a roll that only most can dream about. They came into district play having finished the regular season 26-0 with wins over the defending Class 2 State Champions, Greenwood, on their home floor, plus victories over Park Hills Central in the Bob Sechrest Christmas Tournament and the Lesterville Bearcats in the Arcadia Valley Thanksgiving Tournament. After winning the first two rounds of district play they would meet the same Bearcat team for the championship of Class 1 District 3, putting their undefeated season, and a chance to play in their fifth tournament of the season on the line. With a victory, the Panthers would move to 29-0 and capture a spot in the Class 1 State Tournament, and on Thursday night they did just that - on their home floor in front of a crowd estimated @ over 700 people.
The Panthers came out ready to play grabbing a first quarter lead of 19-14. With intense defensive pressure the Panthers were able to stretch that lead @ the break to 13 points 34-21. Because Lesterville is loaded with seniors, the Panthers knew the Bearcats would not just go away. They would have to keep up their intensity in order to get win number 29, and that's exactly what they did. With some very strong play from sophomore D.J Prater around the rim and some hot shooting from Junior Brock Wakefield and sophomore Drenin Dinkins, the Panthers were able to stretch the lead out to a margin with a little breathing room to 61-41 after 3 quarters of play. As the fourth quarter started, 17th year head coach Dusty Dinkins probably was thinking, "If we just can play some defense and take care of it when we have it we will probably be ok." The Panthers were able to close the game the way good teams are suppose to and went on to claim their second district title in as many years by a final score of 74-58.
The Panthers were led in scoring by Sophomore D.J.Prater and Junior Brock Wakefield with 22 points a piece and Sophomore Drenin Dinkins with 19 points on the night. The Bearcats were led in scoring by senior Holden Laughman with 15 pts and senior Vince Mathes with 12 pts. You can next catch the undefeated South Iron Panthers in action against the Dora Falcons on March 3rd @ Mountain Grove Missouri in State Tournament play!