Opening tip-off went to the Ellsworth Community College Panthers Tuesday night and they never looked back. The men's basketball team took on William Penn JV on Nov. 17 in dominating fashion, winning the game 111-48 in their regular season home opener and taking their record to 6-1.
The Panthers' execution on both offense and defense lasted a strong 40 minutes, with high energy the entire time. "The team concentrated on our biggest areas of concern so far this season, which were strong offense and defense for the duration of the game," said Assistant Coach Dain Swetalla. "That said, we still have areas of our game that must be tightened up for us to compete with the best teams in the country and have the success we are cable of having."
ECC had a balanced scoring attack with four players in double figures. Myzeah Batie-Gaddy contributed 21 points, Trey Christopher had 16, Michael Evans had 10 points and 9 rebounds, Tony Johnson had 12 points and 9 rebounds, and Keith Leavy tallied 14 points. As a team the Panthers had great ball movement, evidenced by their 18 assists for the night. They were also 54% (42-77) from the floor and 39% (11-28) from the 3-point range. ECC had been ranked #1 in the country from the free throw line until tonight, shooting 87%. The Panthers were only able to connect on 16-22 from the line against William Penn.
ECC finished the game with only nine turnovers, but eight of those came in the second half, which ECC Head Coach Troy Muilenburg plans to address. "We must take better care of the ball and value every possession. We still get careless with passes and decision-making at times, but we are making strides in the right direction."
Next the Panthers will host the Dale Howard Classic on Friday and Saturday, Nov. 20 & 21. On Friday the men will play Quakerdale Prep Academy at 8 pm, and on Saturday they will face Waldorf JV at 5 pm.
Photo Caption: Michael Evans (#15) goes up strong for a basket. Evans had 10 points and 9 rebounds during the William Penn JV game.