MABANK–The Mabank Panthers took home the victory in their district opener over the Wills Point Tigers Jan. 14 at home.
After a battle between the two teams, the Panthers pulled away in the fourth quarter to secure the win, 60-42.
After a Jaydon Reeder three-pointer put Mabank in front 3-2, Wills Point went on a 6-0 run to take an 8-3 lead, forcing a Panthers timeout with 3:39 remaining in the first quarter.
Reeder then came out of the timeout with a layup, followed by a short jump shot from Sean Henry to cut the Tigers’ lead to 8-7.
A final three-point shot from Eli Pyle put the Panthers in front, 10-8, entering the second quarter.
Reeder finished off a pass from Kiunn Jackson to increase Mabank’s lead to 12-8.
The Tigers then found their offense once again, taking over on a 6-2 run to take a 16-14 lead over the Panthers.
The Panthers slowly battled their way back with two free throws from Reeder and Henry to cut the deficit to 21-18.
A three-pointer from Pyle and an offensive rebound by Cade Wilson put Mabank in front, 29-25 at halftime.
Wilson started the scoring to begin the second half on a layup to increase Mabank’s lead to 31-25.
The two teams deadlocked on offense in the third quarter as each team notched 14 points as the Panthers held a slim 43-39 lead heading in to the fourth quarter.
Three minutes into the fourth quarter, the Panthers had only allowed one points as they had built their lead to 49-40.
Pyle added two free throws and knocked down a three-pointer off a steal from Henry to make it a 56-52 game.
Doss Kellar added a final layup for the Panthers to seal the win over the Tigers.
Reeder led the way for the Panthers with 21 points over Wills Point.
Pyle added 15 points with Wilson notching 10 points for Mabank.
The win moves the Panthers to 10-8 overall and 1-0 to begin their district schedule.