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Big third quarter leads Panthers' rout of Wes-Del

BY ERIC HINDERLITER - ctreporter@indy.rr.com

The Eastbrook boys’ basketball team led from coast to coast Friday night in their match-up against Wes-Del. Even though they never relinquished the lead it was a decisive third quarter that pushed them over the top in their 87-54 romp.

“We challenged them (his players) at halftime,” noted Eastbrook coach Brian Childs. “When we use our speed and quickness on the open floor, good things happen for us.”

The Panthers held a 39-27 lead at the half and went on an incredible 33-9 run on the Warriors in the third quarter. Eastbrook hit 12 of their 15 shots in the quarter and forced Wes-Del into six turnovers.

Although several Panthers had a hand in the run, it was Capone Johnson who was the one who sparked the charge. He dished out four assists in the quarter and used his quickness to slice through the Wes-Del defense and scored on four drives to the basket.

Ryan Mansbarger put in 11 points during the run. Dylan Bragg scored seven.

Bragg, notably, was inserted into the starting lineup in place of Brandon Huber, who was hobbled on the bench with a leg injury. More than the points, he made his presence felt staying within the role that was asked of him.

Although Eastbrook led the entire way, there were moments in the first half in which the Warriors hung tough.

“We would get a lead and then give up three or four easy baskets,” lamented Childs.

At the three minute mark in the second quarter Wes-Del reached their closest, trailing 31-26 after a Camden Townsend basket.

Childs attributed some of the first half troubles to his club’s defensive effort.

“We’ve played well at times this year,” he explained. “But we still have a hard time stopping teams from scoring.”

Ryan Mansbarger led the way with another sterling effort putting up 34 points on 11 of 18 shooting. He also picked up seven rebounds and forced a few turnovers.

“We’ve seen him shooting well,” praised Childs. “He was more active on the defensive end and had a spring in his step in the second half.”

Eastbrook, in recording their most points in a game this season, shot the ball extremely well – at nearly a 60 percent clip. Capone Johnson added 18 points in addition to his seven assists.

Childs unloaded his bench early in the fourth quarter and was pleased with what he saw. Garrett Holder scored seven points and Nick Monks scored four and picked up four rebounds in a short spurt.

Wes-Del was led by Keegan Newsome’s 11 points. They drop to 8-8 on the season.

Eastbrook with their second win in a row evened their record at 8-8. They have to turn around quickly and host Northfield Saturday night.