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Panther boys start play at Macon Tournament

Posted on Tuesday, January 21, 2020 at 10:23 pm

Centralia beats Moberly, 74-32

They started the Macon Tournament with a 32-point bang.

That was the Centralia Panthers’ margin of victory in their opening round win over the Moberly Spartans when they finished Tuesday night with a 74-42 win against the Spartans.

John Durant goes up for two against Moberly.

Centralia started strong, with Guy Moran scoring first, then Dallas Lewis, then John Durant and Moran again with an east side three-pointer to make it 9-2 Centralia before the clock cleared five minutes.

Then the game pace slowed, but Centralia picked it up again and finished the first quarter up 22-12.

Centralia’s rhythm was up and down again in the second. They climbed ahead, then what Scott Humphrey, Panther head coach called a scoring drought, but still finished the first half up 31-23.

Then the Panthers picked up the pace.

Grant Erisman and Beau Gordon gave us a breath of fresh air that we really needed,” Humphrey said. “They injected some new energy that we really needed.”

That two-player boost invigorated the team’s scoring and they finished the third up 54-31 and hammered it home in the fourth to win 74-42.

Unofficial totals had Moran leading Centralia with a game-high 21 points. Durant backed him with 13 and Erisman with 10.

Jaisten Payne led Moberly with 13.

Centralia finished the game with a 10-3 record.

Moberly is now 2-11.

“Centralia plays hard,” said Cort Hagedorn, Moberly head coach. “Those boys have played together a long time and it shows.”

He said they came to Macon expecting a high scoring performance from Moran. “He is All-conference and All-district. He’s their best player, but that team is full of good players. They can beat you to the bounce and they can shoot it.”

Jackson Wells climbs the ladder for two points.

Humphrey said Moberly tried switching defenses from Man to Zone, but it was only a temporary hitch. “They struggled to score against our 1-2-2 Zone,” he said. “Defense helped us get a good team win.”

Grant Erisman gets air-time against Moberly.

For Centralia, Humphrey said the takeaway was they had to learn to put consistently good scoring strings together and “not have lulls like we did at the end of the first half. We’ve got to put those drives together.”