Pictured above: Mehlville boys basketball.
By Stephen Glover
For the Call
A lot of times a team’s success is not only measured by the number of wins it achieves, but by the number of “ugly” wins they walk away with. Last Friday evening proved to be an “ugly” win for the Mehlville Panthers as they hammered away a 74-66 win at home against McCluer South Berkeley.
“Our strategy is to pound it on the inside while they (McCluer South Berkeley) focused on fouling away and putting our guys on the line,” Mehlville head coach Andy Guethle said. “So it was an ugly game.”
Mehlville (14-5) held a 29-24 lead at halftime and extended that lead to 52-36 after three quarters of play. But McCluer South Berkeley (6-10) trimmed the Panthers’ lead with a 30-22 run in the fourth quarter, which was of a concern to Guethle.
“We’re still progressing, but not the way that we’ve wanted to, but we’re still making progress,” Guethle said. “I think that we’re still coming together as a group and trying to avoid what I’d like to call empty possessions.”
Mehlville’s King Waller led the Panthers with 20 points. The junior guard was also rock steady from the free-throw line, hitting nine of 10 from the charity stripe.
“It was a solid night for King,” Guethle said. “Hitting those free throws really made for a good night for him.”
The Panthers’ Lamontay Daughtery also scored in double figures with 19 points and 14 rebounds. Daughtery is currently averaging 13.3 points and 7.9 rebounds a game this season, and the junior guard also has recorded 24 steals and 21 blocked shots.
“Lamontay is evolving into a better defensive player during every practice,” Guethle said. “Offensively he attacked the rim really well, and it’s always good for an attacker like him to get points on the board right away at the start of the game. The part I like most about his night was the 14 rebounds.”
Another impressive performance for the Panthers in the win over the Bulldogs was junior center Davion Bradford’s 18 points and 18 rebounds.
“The guys did a better job getting him the ball,” Guethle said. “He obviously rebounded the ball well and is the kind of player that attacks the rim and plays above the rim really well.”
The Panthers are back in action this Friday as they host Hazelwood West at 7 p.m. The Wildcats (7-8) are coming off a 70-60 win at home against Oakville.
“I imagine that they (Hazelwood West) are going to pressure us and try to create a lot of turnovers,” Guethle said. “It’s going to be a matter of us handling their pressure and doing what it takes to minimize those empty possessions.”