Panther boys rally for tight 61-58 win

By STEPHEN GLOVER

For the Call

Despite having a poor showing at the free-throw line and being heavily out-re-bounded by the Seckman Jaguars, the Mehlville Senior High School boys’ basketball team found a way to pull out a 61-58 come-from-behind victory.

“We were very fortunate to win that game,” Mehlville head coach Andy Gueth-le told the Call. “We were fortunate to win, but we’re obviously not going to give it back.”

The Panthers (4-3, 0-2 Suburban West) shot a lackluster 37.5 percent from the free-throw line and didn’t get many second chances.

They were hammered on the boards as the Jaguars held a decisive 34-20 rebounding advantage.

“The guys are not very good at the line and we’re going to have to step up and knock those shots down,” Guethle said. “We also need to do a better job at blocking guys out after shots.”

Mehlville held a 34-32 advantage at halftime before falling behind 47-45 after the third quarter of play.

But the Panthers enjoyed key shots from seniors Nick DuBuque and Ryan Carter in the fourth quarter of action to pull off the comeback.

“Nick hit some big shots for us down the stretch,” Guethle said. “He’s become one of our guys that we look to go to toward the end of the game.”

DuBuque ended the evening with 18 points and two steals. The guard was hot from the outside, nailing four of five shots from three-point range.

The Panthers’ Rodney Heard was right behind DuBuque with 16 points, 11 assists, 10 rebounds and two steals. The senior guard was well above his season average of 8.7 points and 4.1 rebounds per game.

“Rodney got most of his points slashing to the basket,” Guethle explained. “He’s a good kid that really works hard.”

Carter also played a solid game with nine points, three assists and three rebounds. The starting guard has been averaging 4.1 points per game this season, amassing nine assists and five steals.

“Ryan’s a good player that really knows when to shoot and when not to shoot,” Guethle said. “The shot that he hit at the end of the game was huge for us.”

The Panthers play at the Seckman Hol-iday Invitational this week with times and dates to be determined after the Call went to press.

Mehlville is back in action at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, playing host to Parkway Central in a non-conference game.

The Colts are 2-6 with their two wins coming against Parkway North and Rock-wood Summit.

“They lost Austin Kirby, who went on to Truman State, so they’re in a rebuilding year,” Guethle said. “They’re the kind of team that plays nonstop and really gets after it.”