By Ed Greif
The Stone Memorial Panther basketball teams made the short trek to Clarkrange Monday night for their regular season openers against the Buffaloes and came away on the short end of the scoreboard, as the Panthers lost 59-53 to the Buffaloes and the Lady Panthers were beaten 61-23.
Clarkrange 59, SMHS 53: The Panthers started out like a house on fire to take a 15-1 first quarter lead, thanks to three treys — two by Luke Matthews and one by Tyler Yoder.
A three-point play to open the second quarter by Justin Simmons gave Coach Neil Capps' squad an 18-1 lead, but the Buffaloes finished the quarter with a 22-7 run to slice the Panther lead to 25-23 at the break.
Taylor Edwards sparked the Buffaloes with 11 points, including three three-point baskets, and Landon Baldwin added six points.
Brock Rowan had a trey for the Panthers, who were four of 12 from the field.
The Panthers led by as much as four points early in the third quarter, but the Buffaloes finished the stanza with a 13-3 run to take a 40-34 lead.
Edwards had seven points for Clarkrange.
Rowan had five points for the Panthers.
Clarkrange stretched the lead to 53-48 late in the fourth quarter, but a trey by Luke Matthews and another jumper by Yoder tied the game at 53-53; however, the hosts finished the game with a 6-0 run to take the victory.
Free throws were a key stat, as SMHS was four of six from the line, and Clarkrange was 18 of 25.
Leading scorers for the Panthers were Gage Spence (four points), Rowan (16 points), Yoder (13 points), Brandon Thomas (two points), Simmons (five points) and Matthews (14 points). Mitch Ball and Parker Hill also played.
Clarkrange 61, Lady Panthers 23: The Lady Buffaloes opened the game with a 4-0, but Jacki Livesay's trey with 6:25 left sliced the margin to 4-3; however, the Lady Buffaloes finished the quarter with a 13-2 run for a 17-5 lead.
Clarkrange opened the second quarter with a 16-0 run for a 33-5 lead, but Faith Van Ruden bucket sliced the lead to 33-7. Clarkrange finished the half with a 10-0 run for a 43-7 lead.
Clarkrange forced 17 turnovers in the first half.
The Lady Buffaloes outscored SMHS 10-9 in the third quarter for a 53-18 lead. Livesay had two treys in the quarter for SMHS.
Clarkrange finished the game with an 8-5 fourth quarter, as the TSSAA mercy rule was in force.
Statistical leaders for SMHS were Emily Bryant (one rebound, one steal), Livesay (11 points, two rebounds, two steals), Van Ruden (four points, five rebounds, three steals), Abby Griffin (four rebounds), Bailey Rutledge (two points, one assist, one steal), Courtney White (two points, six rebounds, one assist, three steals), Sydney Early (one rebound, one assist), Mikayla Kington (two points, one steal), Kirsten Potter (two points, two rebounds, one steal), Riley Hunt (one rebound) and Lacy Melton (one rebound). Tiffany Cokkinias, Kerigan Smith and Jordan Thompson also played.
The Lady Panthers were eight of 45 from the field (17.8 percent) with 23 rebounds, three assists and 12 steals; however, the Clarkrange defense forced 33 turnovers.
Nov. 16 result
McCallie (68): C.J. Fritz 5, J. Williams 17, N. Jacobs 6, W. Whitner, C. Alford 2, J. Calvin 32, Z. Hobbs 3, E. Wolf 3.
SMHS (80): Gage Spence 12, Brock Rowan 20, Tyler Yoder 20, Brandon Thomas 7, Justin Simmons 13, Luke Matthews 8.
Three points baskets: SMHS 10 (Rowan 5, Yoder 2, Thomas 1, Matthews 2); McCallie 13 (Fritz 1, J. Williams 5, J. Calvin 6, Hobbs 1).
Schedule change: The Nov. 26 freshman game between Clarkrange at SMHS has been canceled. The Dec. 6 SMHS at Clarkrange freshmen game will be played at SMHS, beginning at 5:30 p.m.