Every once in a while a team gets an easy win.
They weren’t pushed too hard and just about everything they try works.
Wednesday night’s game against the Jacksonville Jaguars was pretty easy for the Panola College Ponies.
Eleven of the 12 players who saw action scored; as a team they shot almost 60 percent from the field; and 50 percent from the 3-point line as they walked away with a 102 61 win over the visiting Jags at Arthur Johnson Gym.
The No. 22 Ponies are 6-1 on the season heading into Saturday afternoon’s 4 p.m. game at Tyler College.
“We came out and we played OK in the first half,” said Panola Head Coach Aaron Smith, who was honored with a ball commemorating his 100th win as a head coach before the game. “But we kept giving them easy shots and letting them get rebounds and doing whatever they wanted to. We put up bad shots that gave them a lot more opportunities on offense.
“At the start of the second half I think we only gave up one offensive rebound and started taking better shots ourselves. Things kind of snowballed from there.”
Once the Ponies held the lead in the contest, they would never trail again. It just took them awhile to do that.
Keldrick Hayes made it a one-point game with a bucket at the 8:58 mark (21-20), but it never got any closer.
Cody Deen, the start of the Saturday’s win over Paris, drained a 3-pointer to start a 15-4 run he finished with a three-point play, 36-25,
The Jags would pull within six, 42-36 on a Telin Porter basket with 2:23 left. Jalen Williams had six in a 10-0 run that included a Josh Miller 3-pointer that finished the game with a 52-36 lead.
The Ponies would light up the scoreboard the rest of he way with ease, many times passing it around to take up the shot clock, before draining a long-distance shot just before it expired.
Deen, who finished with 19 points, hit a couple of 3-pointers in the final three minutes to finish off the Jags.
“You never expect this type of win in conference,” Smith said of the 41-point victory. “But anything can happen on any night. I never thought Blinn would lose tonight after they beat Lamar State by 28.
“If you don’t show up, you’re going to get beat.”
The Ponies also got 15 from Josh Miller, while Esteban Roacho and Isaac Jackson both had 13 and Ja’Hiem Handy and Williams both had 10 points. Handy, Roacho, Dean and Olivarr Camacho all had six rebounds, Handy also had four assists and the team committed just nine turnovers.
Terry Moss led the Jags with 15, while Porter had 12 and Hayes had 10.
“Esteban played good defense,” Smith said. “We really wanted to challenge No. 2 (Kenan Mitchell) and he did a great job on him. He did a good job shutting down an offensive threat and making them go somewhere else.”
Mitchell finished with two points, four assists, two rebounds, one block and one steal.