Mehlville High boys’ basketball team looks to regain winning ways

By STEPHEN GLOVER

The Mehlville Senior High School boys’ basketball team opened the 2006-2007 season by winning three of its first four games.

But the Panthers since have dropped their last three games, including a 64-50 loss at Kirkwood earlier this month.

Mehlville head coach Andy Guethle had his team implement a zone defense throughout most of the game. In fact, Guethle’s plan worked through the first quarter as the Panthers held a 17-10 advantage.

“We played Kirkwood the zone throughout the game,” Guethle said. “The game was close throughout most of the first half, and we got within one point in the third quarter.”

Mehlville fell behind 31-24 at halftime, but battled the Pioneers to 45-38 after three quarters.

“Once they figured the zone out, they started going inside,” Guethle said. “They then hit us with two consecutive three’s.”

Mehlville’s Malcolm Crawford racked up 19 points, two steals and two assists in the loss to Kirkwood. The senior guard is averaging 15.6 points and 2.0 rebounds a game this season.

“Malcolm’s done a really good job for us this year,” Guethle said. “He passes well and is a smart player that’s improved a lot since last year.”

Mehlville’s Carlton Washington put together a 10-point and five-rebound showing that included one steal and one assist.

The junior forward is averaging 4.1 points and 2.6 re-bounds a game this season.

“We’re pretty much playing him out of position,” Guethle said. “But he works hard in practice and does a really good job for us.”

The Panthers were scheduled to face Fox in the first round of the Seckman Holiday Invitational Tuesday — after the Call went to press.

Fox (1-7, 0-2 Suburban West) has lost its last three games, including a 70-47 defeat to Northwest on Dec. 15. The Warriors are led by the tandem of Alen Hadzimahovic and Billy Pribble.

“Fox plays really hard and they’ve got some big kids,” Guethle said. “The big question will be matching their intensity, so I think this will be a good test for us.”