Freeman pulls away from Palmyra
boys with second half adjustments
By Matt Jurgens, for The Voice News - December 7, 2017
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Photos by Matt Jurgens, For The Voice News
Freeman’s Korey Beu moves to a loose ball against Palmyra.
ADAMS – Halftime adjustments proved to be the key for coach Jim McLaughlin and the Freeman Falcons in their 57-33 season-opening win over the Panthers of Palmyra last Thursday.
After taking a four-point lead into the half, the Falcons were able to pull away from the Panthers thanks to a variety of factors.
“We got the ball down to our posts in third quarter and that’s something we had gotten away from in the second quarter,” McLaughlin said. “We hit some shots, that obviously helps.”
McLaughlin went on to say that the shooting wasn’t the only key to the second-half improvement.
“Defensively, we were able to get some stops and we took care of the ball a little bit more,” said McLaughlin.
The first half of the game was a back-and-forth battle that saw three lead changes and both teams in a deadlock, tied 8-8 with three minutes remaining in the first quarter.
Freeman was able to break the tie and take the momentum into the second quarter thanks to two late shots from three-point territory by Korey Beu. His efforts from behind the stripe gave the Falcons a 14-9 lead at the end of one quarter
Palmyra came out swinging early in the second quarter, racking up six unanswered points to take a 15-14 lead with five minutes left in the half.
The Panthers’ advantage proved to be temporary, however, as the Falcons answered back later in the quarter with a 6-0 run of their own to recapture a 21-16 lead.
Palmyra junior Kobe Jones chipped away at the Freeman lead with a bucket following two-consecutive offensive rebounds, tightening the Freeman lead to 21-18 with just over a minute to play in the half.
A late lay-in for the Falcons and a free throw from the Panthers put the score at 23-19 at the end of the first half.
The game looked like it was headed for more tightly-contested action early in the third quarter with the teams trading baskets to start the half, however a pair of unanswered Falcon three-pointers stretched the lead to 31-22 midway through the quarter.
Freeman sophomore Trey Yates helped seal the deal for the Falcons later in the quarter when he had a sequence of a lay-in, a block and a three-pointer in the span of 45 seconds, which kicked off a 10-0 Falcon run.
A late steal by Beu and a buzzer beater by senior Lane Cacek capped off a third quarter that saw the Falcons outscore the Panthers to the tune of 20-7.
Freeman continued to get the better of Palmyra in the fourth, tacking on another 14 points to push the final score to 57-33.
The Falcons were paced offensively by Yates and junior Tyler Adams who each tallied 10 points on the evening.
Senior Landon Hornby scored 10 of his own to lead the Panthers in scoring.
McLaughlin was pleased with his team’s second-half adjustments but acknowledged that his team has room to improve, moving forward.
“The way we responded in the third quarter was a bright spot for us but we need to concentrate better. If we can do that, there are good things ahead,” McLaughlin said.
Freeman’s momentum was halted in its second game of the season when the team traveled to Lincoln Christian and fell to the Crusaders 59-46.
The Falcons fell behind in the first half after being outscored by four points in each of the first two quarters, giving the Crusaders a 31-23 lead at halftime.
The third quarter proved disastrous for Freeman as Lincoln Christian came out firing en route to a 17-6 advantage for the quarter.
A fourth-quarter surge was not enough and the Crusaders notched their second win of the season 59-46.
Palmyra bounced back in a big way on Saturday when the Panthers took down the Southern Raiders 55-50, featuring an explosive offensive performance from senior Drew Bessey, who scored 20 points.
The Panthers’ 29-16 halftime lead was enough to hold off a Raiders run in the second half that narrowed the Palmyra lead to only five points.
Palmyra (1-1) will be back in action on Tuesday when they travel to Johnson-Brock.
Freeman (1-1) looks to bounce back when they head to Yutan on Friday.
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