Panthers break losing streak, finally get close winAfter falling at the buzzer in overtime Thursday, Ellsworth High School's boys basketball team followed it up with a 37-35 victory over Mid-Pacific Institute, of Hawaii, Friday during the third-place game of the Lake City Tournament
By: Chris Harrell - Red Wing Republican-Eagle, Pierce County Herald
LAKE CITY – The way Ellsworth is playing this year, head coach Rich Powers said he is in store for more than a few grey hairs.
After falling at the buzzer in overtime Thursday, the Panthers followed it up with a 37-35 victory over Mid-Pacific Institute, of Hawaii, Friday during the third-place game of the Lake City Tournament. The Owls got two chances at scoring in the final seconds but both fell short.
“We had ample opportunities to put them away,” Powers said. “Honestly, sometimes you need an ugly win to get it going.”
Mid-Pacific held Chrystian Kulow to just one point only one day after Kulow tallied 36 points in Ellsworth’s overtime loss to Legacy Christian Academy. The Owls played with energy from start to finish and put the Panthers (3-7, 0-3 Middle Border) on their heels and out of their comfort zone offensively.
“We’re an attack team but when teams attack us we go away a little bit,” Powers said. “It was our offense that killed us. … I think yesterday took a lot out of us.”
Tyler Marson picked up the scoring slack for Ellsworth, finishing with a game-high 18 points and nine rebounds.
“I had some mismatches,” Marson said. “The lane opened up and I took advantage of it.”
“You saw tonight he can rip and get to the basket,” added Powers.
Logan Armstrong had a solid night off the bench for the Panthers, finishing with five points and zero turnovers while knocking down a crucial free throw with 9.3 seconds remaining to put Ellsworth up by two points.
“He came in and played really well for me tonight,” Powers said. “He just does some the little things we need.”
Ryan Swanson, previously of Lake City, led the Owls with 14 points, including three 3-pointers.
It wasn’t a pretty victory but the Panthers are just happy to come out on the right side of a close game Friday night.
“It’s about time,” Marson said. “We’re tired of being on the backside of everything. We finally came through.”
Ellsworth is off Jan. 4 when it hosts Somerset.