2.8.21 HUGHES & SLUSHER LEAD PARKWAY TO VICTORY
Parkway hit the road, headed north for a match up with the Paulding panthers on Monday evening. After a back and forth battle in the junior varsity game, the varsity squads picked up where their juniors left off. Dylan Hughes got the scoring started with a trey from the top of the arc that gave the visitors their first lead of the night. Both teams started off the game hot from beyond the arc with a combined six treys in the period. Parkway would find themselves in the lead by a score of 16-13 after one period. The pace picked up in the second quarter, just as the lead traded hands several times. This was turning into an offensive show as we headed to the halftime break. Dylan Hughes was on fire and having a monster night leading the Parkway charge. It was just a four point advantage for the visiting panthers. But the momentum was still with the panthers as they scored the firs t five points to start the third stanza. Paulding battled to draw closer, but Parkway had the advantage on every front. Midway through the period, Parkway built a 9 point lead and that carried through to the final stanza. It was a series of trading buckets back and forth in the fourth quarter. With Parkway maintaining their lead to the final buzzer. If it wasn't Hughes sinking bombs, it was Caden Slusher as they led the panther offense to victory over Paulding. Caden finished the night with 24 points and Dylan Hughes finished with a double/double, he had 36 markers and 10 rebounds. Parkway has won four of their last five games and have pulled back to an even 9-9 record.
2.6.21 FALLING STARS SEEN IN ROCKFORD
After a heartbreaking loss at the hands of the cavaliers, the panthers were right back at it on Saturday night. Our friends from across the border were in town for a matchup with the panthers. It is always a spirited affair when these teams get together. This game was no different, from the start there was a lot of chattering going on. It was a fast paced quarter to start the game and the panthers were down three after the initial period. But the high flying stars were brought down to earth in the second stanza. The Parkway defense held them to just six points in the period. Heading into the halftime, it was a home team advantage of 28-22. With a back and forth battle in quarter number three, the panthers still held the lead with just one period left. The panther lead was 36-33 and they were keeping the starfires just at arms length. Parkway continued to build on their advantage an were primed to get what looked may be a double digit win. But South Adams had a different idea and went on a big run to pull even with the panthers. With just minutes left, it was an even playing field again. The intensity had excelerated for both squads and it got chippy on the court once again. But Parkway held their cool and focused on the task at hand. The stars had one last attempt, but the Parkway defense stood tall and earned the victory. Dylan Hughes had another huge game for Parkway, filling the hoop up for 28 points and just missed a double/double with 9 rebounds.
2.5.21 CONFERENCE VICTORY SLIPS AWAY
It is always interesting when you got to "the Palace" in Coldwater. The student section were acting the normal fools, as is expected from them. It was a hostile crowd that the visiting panthers had to deal with. But Parkway battled and fought through all the taunting and crap for the entire game. Coldwater decided to just eliminate the best player in the region. Not just keep him from scoring, but they punished him with hard fouls all night. But Parkway is not a one man team by any stretch of the imagination. When they chose to harass Hughes, that left others open who are more than capable of scoring. That game plan backfired when the ball got passed around to the open man and whoever ended up with it, scored. After one period the hosts held a three point advantage, but heading into the half, it was only a 32-27 lead for the hosts. It was a much sloppier third quarter for both teams. There was a lot of action and it was fast paced. But the scoring was held to just single digits for both teams. Separated by four points when the final stanza started, Parkway was poised to close the gap. They battled hard, fought and clawed their way to a two point lead with just seconds on the clock. After a missed free throw the visitors rebounded, put the shot back up and missed. With the rebound, the cavaliers sprinted the distance and threw up a prayer. That missed the mark, but they got the rebound and again the ball was just tossed towards the bucket. It was the worst case scenario for Parkway. The whistle blew for a very questionable call that sent the cavs to the charity stripe. After two good shots that put them up 49-47, Parkway was left with just mere seconds to get a hail mary off for a tie. It didn't happen and the panthers lost a very well play game. Caden Slusher took the lead for Parkway with 19 markers while Gabe Schaaf chipped in 13 markers. Dylan Hughes also had 9 points and 10 rebounds.
1.30.21 PANTHERS DERAIL THE "ROADERS", SWEEP WEEKEND
1.29.21 HUGHES JOINS 1000 POINT CLUB, PARKWAY ROLLS RANGERS
"Oh what a night" would have been the appropriate song of the night for the Parkway mens hoops team. Everyone in the building new that Dylan Hughes was close to joining that "1000" point club and would surely walk in that door tonight. But the panther faithful were treated to an all out team effort against the New Knoxville rangers. The onslaught was sparked by the panthers "big man" Gabe Schaaf with two long range bombs from deep in the corner. From there the hosts jumped out in front with an 11-0 run to start the game. With the defensive pressure all over the rangers, they were finding it tough to even get anything close to a bucket. Parkway finished out the initial period with a 9-0 run as they lead 23-7 with 3 quarters left. New Knoxville caught their breath in the second period and were able to slow the panthers potent offense down a bit. We entered the halftime break with Parkway in firm control with a 33-13 advantage. But the crowd was still waiting for that moment when Hughes would hit 1000 points. They got their wish just about two minutes into the third quarter as Dylan cruised to the bucket and rolled in a routine layup to the crowd liking. With that we had another member of that elite club. It never gets old being able to witness moments like those. After a brief celebration, he had to go hug mom of course. The panthers got right back to the task at hand. Parkway continued to play really good basketball as they added 20 more points to that growing total. The offensive explosion in this game was a result of everyone getting into the act and that's so fun to watch. Four panthers hit double figures in the scoring column and "one of those freshman" was just a point away from making it five. Now that is sharing the rock. But it only got better in the fourth quarter, I noticed early in the game that Dylan had surpassed is average of four assists per game. For those stat "nerds", me included, he was on the verge of a "triple double". Double figures in points, rebounds and assists. Instantly I started thinking if he could get there tonight? Although we didn't see that happen as he came up 3 assists short of the mark, He did do something he had never achieved in a basketball game. Really you ask ? Just before the starters were pulled with about 4 minutes left in the game, it happened. It was the typical fast break that we see from Dylan and I expected the same result as I have taken hundreds of those shots over the last four years. This on wouldn't be the typical layup though. Dylan finished his historic night with a crowd pleasing thunderous dunk, which nobody saw coming. Unfortunately, I didn't get the shot because I did not expect it. His final act brought everyone on the Parkway side to their feet and it was pure joy that filled Dylan's face. What an awesome moment to be a small part of, that's what makes high school sports so special. As the clock ticked down, the panthers sealed the deal and won the game by a final score of 73-37. Mr. Hughes finishes his night with 22 points, 10 rebounds and 7 assists. Gabe Shaaf followed with 11/3, Caden Slusher with 11/1, Riley Samples had 10/7 and was close to a double/double. Then, the freshman got into the action, Trent Rollins nearly had himself a double/double, he finished the game with 9/8 and Fletcher Smith chipped in 7 markers.
1.23.21 HUGHES EXPLODES FOR 42, BUT PANTHERS FALL SHORT
After a big midwest athletic conference battle on Friday, the panthers schedule didn't get any easier as the welcomed a ranked lancer team to Rockford. But this team doesn't back down from anyone and they always take the fight to their opponent. It was no different on Saturday evening, after a spirited jv contest that saw the panthers get the win, the varsity was ready to do battle also. We had two of the top scores in the area playing in this game, the panthers Dylan Hughes and Lincolnviews Creed Jesse. They show cased that scoring prowess in Rockford with a combined output of 72 points. Hughes led all scores with 42 for Parkway and Jesee countered with 30 fir the visiting lancers. Creed got the scoring started as he played "bombs away" early in the first period. He hit several early and Lincolnview jumped out in front with a 19-14 advantage at the first break. The lancers were able to maintain that 10 point advantage through the second stanza, leaving the score in their favor at the half. After trading buckets to start the second half, the panthers went on an 8-0 run sparked by freshman Trent Rollins deep three pointer. The panthers pulled to within 41-39 midway through the third quarter. Lincolnview answered with an offensive flurry of their own that pushed their lead back to ten points. Parkway continued to attack the lancers in the paint and were able to whittle that lead down to 53-47 aster three quarters. Down just two buckets, it was time for the panthers to kick it up a notch. Lincolnview only let the panthers as close as five points and Parkway was forced to foul as time was ticking away with their chance for a win. This game was slowly turning into a mirror image of the previous evenings contest. The panthers continued to battle, but the lancers weren't going to give in. Parkway drops to 5-8 with the 76-70 score. This was a really good game by both squads and was played with a high intensity and fast pace. But this game was looking to be a milestone for Dylan Hughes, yes he was on the verge of getting in the record books for most points in a game. This may not be the official number, but my source is pretty reliable, thanks Allie. He came into this game just 46 points shy of joining the 1000 point club. That being said, he still had a monster game and poured in 42 points and 7 rebounds. His trusty sidekick, a.k.a. Caden Slusher chipped in 16 markers in the panthers effort. These young men have improved week by week and are playing some good basketball. They play a tougher schedule than most, you never hear them complain though. They just continue to grind and work hard and "bring it" every night.
1.22.21 CARDS SEAL WIN FROM THE CHARITY STRIPE
Although the cards had held the lead in the first two quarters, the panthers started to chip away at their hosts advantage. New Bremen had been able to limit Parkway's points in the paint with their size and length. So after a few adjustments at the half, the black & gold took a different approach in the third period. They were trading trey's for two point shots and slowly enabled them to chip away at the cards lead. With three quarters in the books, it was now just a five point deficit for the panthers. Trailing 40-35, the momentum carried over into the fourth period for Parkway. Midway through the stanza, they reeled in New Bremen and tied the game. But that result wasn't long lasting as the cards responded with driving the lane hard and that resulted in their favor. Putting them at the charity stripe several times late in the contest. Parkway did their best to try and answer the cards efforts, but fell short as the clock ticked down to zero. That turned out to be the difference maker in the game as New Bremen was able to double up Parkway from the charity stripe. The panthers battled hard and showed alot of heart in this game. The cardinals were a much deeper team and were able to keep fresh players on the court. But the panthers battled and kept the pressure on their hosts. Parkway falls to 5-7 overall and 2-3 in the conference with the 57-50 loss. Caden Slusher and Dylan Hughes were both in double figures with 16 & 23 points. Gabe Shaaf had a solid game also with 9 points and 5 rebounds. The panthers will host a high powered Lincolnview squad on Saturday evening.
1.15.21 PANTHERS WIN OVERTIME THRILLER
1.12.21 PARKWAY TOPS RIDGEMONT FOR WIN
Coming off a rough game against Minster, the Panthers rebounded nicely with a home victory. The visiting gophers came in with and a good record, but Parkway played them tough and got the victory. After a back-and-forth first quarter, the hosts led by a count of 8-12.They picked up the pace in the second period as both squads scored in double-figures. As we went into the halftime break, Parkway led by a score of 30-27. The pace slowed down in the third quarter as the defenses took control. With both teams scoring just 10 points, we went into the final quarter with the Panthers leading by just three markers. As in the second quarter, both squads got the offense rolling and this turned out to be their highest output of the game. With the Panthers keeping control of the rock late in the quarter and getting the 59-51 victory. Although Ridgemont had some decent height, a big factor for the parkway offense was outrebounding the Gophers 35 - 22, which resulted in several second chance shots. Leading the way for Parkway was Dylan Hughes with a double-double on the night, he had 24 points and 14 rebounds. He was followed by Gabe Schaaf who nearly had a double-double, he had 17 markers and nine rebounds. Caden Slusher chipped in 13 points in the Panthers winning effort. Riley samples didn't find his name in the scoring column, but he is always hard at work on the boards. In the rebound category, and he pulled down six against Ridgemont.
1.8.21 PARKWAY BATTLES TOUGH, WILDCATS TO STRONG
With only one game on tap this weekend for the panthers, it was against state ranked and league leading Minster wildcats. Minster jumped all over the panthers to start the contest, building an early 17-4 lead midway into the first period. But Parkway settled in and chipped away at that lead to find themselves only down by 6 points after one quarter. The panthers kept pace in the second period as both squads picked up the defensive pressure. We went into the half with the visiting wildcats leading 31-27. At this point in the contest it was anybody's game. But Minster took advantage of the miscues that their hosts were making. That translated into the difference in the games outcome. They were able to turn turnovers into points and that propelled them to the lead. Parkway could only match the Minster offensive effort in the final stanza. That left them on the short end of a 59-47 score that drops their record to 3-6. Dylan Hughes had another outstanding game with 29 points to lead all scorers.
1.4.21 SLUSHER TIES RECORD, PANTHERS GROUND JETS
It was a much need win for the visiting panthers in the annual border war with Adams Central. It is always an interesting evening when you cross the border. But this game had nothing to do with hoosier hysteria". It was all about the breakout game from Caden Slusher. We new it was coming, just not when. Caden just hadn't found his "groove" yet this season. But he never slowed down, never stopped playing his game. On Tuesday evening he found his "groove" and torched the jets for 26 points en route to a panther victory. After on quarter it was only a 4 point advantage for Parkway. The panthers went on a scoring spree and started the second period with an 8-0 run. Heading into the halftime break, Parkway held a commanding 13 point lead. That lead quickly increased in the third quarter as Parkway once again went on a 9-0 run to start the period. By this point in the game the visitors had a large lead and the locals were getting restless. It wasn't long before the chirping from the home stands started. Just midway into the final stanza, it got "chippy" on the court, as is usual when this game is played. After a really nice play by the panthers, there was a bit too rough of a play for my liking. That's when I was told my night was over, once again my passion for panther hoops got me tossed. I missed Slusher's final two treys that put him in the Parkway record books. He was on "fire" and sank 8 "treys" to tie Josh Fisher with the most in a single game. Dylan Hughes also had a big night, he nearly had a triple/double. He ended the game with his average of 21 points, he also had 13 rebounds and 9 assists. Freshman Fletcher Smith also had a nice game coming in off the bench, he chipped in with 8 markers. Parkway improves to 3-5 with the victory.
12.23.20 EAGLES NO MATCH FOR HIGH FLYING PANTHERS
With the covid-19 precautions this season, the J.J. Winns Holiday Tournament was canceled this year. But the panthers still took the trip to Pioneer for a matchup with the North Central eagles. The first period started with a fast pace as both squads were settling in. Then the panthers started to take control mid way through the period. The eagles couldn't keep up the pace and fell behind at the buzzer. At one point, Parkway had gone on an 8-0 run. Parkway continued to with the hot hand as they started the second period with back to back treys from Jacob Rogers & Gabe Schaaf. The visiting panthers continued to hit the mark as they pulled ahead by as many as 22 points. Although the eagles continued to battle, the Parkway defense was very stout. Going into the halftime break, the panthers had a resounding 41-24 lead. It was long into the third quarter when Coach Hughes starting rotating the bench into the game. It was refreshing to see them respond well and continue to play hard. The eagles were able to make up some ground as they eventually whittled the Parkway lead to 12 points. But that false sense of accomplishment quickly vanished with a burst of panther offense. With just one quarter left, there wasn't much doubt that Parkway was the better team as they enjoyed a 55-34 lead. The panther advantage climbed as high as 24 points in the fourth period, which saw the bench getting the biggest share of playing time. When the final buzzer sounded, it gave Parkway a much needed 68-42 victory. They improve to 2-3 on the year. Dylan Hughes continued to lead the way for the panthers with another double/double. He poured in 25 points, pulled down 13 rebounds and had 6 assists. Caden Slusher was the only other panther in double figures with 14 points and 4 rebounds. Nearly getting a double/double himself, was Riley Samples with 7 points and 8 rebounds.
12.19.20 'RIDERS OWNED THE LANE, PANTHERS DENIED ACCESS
Riley Samples does a tremendous job for the black & gold in the paint. He isn't the tallest or the thickest "big man" that trolls the middle. But he plays much bigger and will give you 110% all night long. With that being said, I tip my cap to him for battling like he did in these last two contest. I was bruised and battered after just watching him play, lol. Riley battled with Brian Bihn on Friday evening, he is is a very large young man. But against St. Mary's he found himself battling a small mountain. Parkway knew coming into the game that penetrating the lane would be nearly impossible. It was going to take all hands on deck to leave "canal town" with a victory. I can sum up this contest with just four words. Competitive, what the visiting panthers were in the first period. It would have ended in a tie except for a buzzer beating trey from the roughriders. Assertive - the St. Mary's play on both ends of the court. They limited Parkway to just 5 points and added 14 to their total. Making it a 12 point deficit for the panthers at the half. Aggressive - this described the panthers coming out of the break. They weren't hesitant and challenged the riders in the paint and were able to draw the foul. Parkway not only kept pace with the riders, they outscored them in the period. Finish - what the Parkway squad has only done once in this young season. The riders on the other hand, didn't ease up on their defensive pressure and it really stymied Parkway. St. Mary's only led by 8 points heading into the final stanza, the panthers still were not out of it. But they just fell apart as the clock ticked away. Now don't misunderstand me, I am not being negative about the team. I realize that these young men are still trying to find their groove as a team. I fully understand that this squad hasn't had much time playing together, so I am trusting the process. It will come and when it does it will be really fun to watch. Caden Slusher had 8 points for the panthers while Gabe Shaaf chipped in 7 points and 5 rebound. Senior Dylan Hughes led the panthers with 21 markers and 7 rebounds, nearly making it a double/double. Parkway falls to 1-3 on the young season.
12.18.20 HUGHES POURS IN 29, BUT PANTHERS FALL SHORT
Coming into the game the panthers were looking to get back to back league wins. It looked as if they would do it after three quarters of play. Parkway had the momentum and the lead, but they pendulum swung the Indians way at the final buzzer. It was a tie after the first period and neither squad hit double figures. The lead then changed several times until midway through the period. Ft. Recovery flexed their muscle and pulled away from the panthers at the halftime break. Down just 24-18, Parkway looked to make a few adjustments at the half. So far the game was more about the defensive battle. The Indians held a sizeable advantage in the paint. But Riley Samples was up to the task as he battled with the big boys all night. Although the Indians held the advantage in the paint, the panthers were a bit quicker on the break. Their strengths seemed to balance out as the contest progressed. Dylan Hughes had the hot hand for the visiting panthers on Friday night. The panthers defense stiffened up and held the Indians offense to single digits in the third period. Coupled with Hughes pumping in 13 points, Parkway took a 34-33 lead with just a quarter to go. The final stanza saw the lead go back and forth until just a few minutes remained on the clock. With time running out on Parkway's chances of getting a victory, they were forced to send the Indians to the charity stripe. Ft. Recovery sealed the deal from the line and secured the win. The loss drops Parkway to 1-2 on the young season. Hughes played his final game against his cousin, the forts "big man" Brian Bihn. It has been fun watching them battle each other these last few years. If you were keeping score, Dylan had the upper hand in this game. He finished with 29 points to 13 for Brian. These battles are one of the things that make high school sports special.
12.11.20 PANTHERS EVEN RECORD & GET M.A.C. VICTORY
The panthers finally got back on the hardwood and it was a favorable result for them. With the Versailles tigers in town for a league contest, the black & gold were ready for a battle. The first period was a draw as neither squad set the world on fire. It was a defensive battle from early on and was also a pretty physical game in the paint. Versailles had the size in the lane, but Riley Samples and Gabe Schaff were up to the task. They did a good job limiting the tigers success down low. After an even first quarter, Parkway took control of the game. Versailles took a 12-10 lead early in the stanza and that would be their only one for the period. Parkway lead by as many as 10 points in the second quarter and at the half it was a panther 26-18 advantage. Just as the panthers had doubled up the tigers in the second period, it was Versailles doubling up Parkway in the third. The tigers came at Parkway from all angles, it was with blocked shots and forcing their hosts into committing turnovers. Although it was a mere 2 points, the panthers headed to the fourth quarter with the lead. Parkway scored seven unanswered points as they increased that lead to 31-8. Holding the tigers to just 3 points from the charity stripe midway through the stanza. The black & gold defense made it rough on the tiggers in that final period, giving up just 7 markers. At the final buzzer, the home team was victorious in their second game of the year. They evened their record at 1-1 with a final score of 44-37 and a league win.
Dylan Hughes had a monster game for Parkway. Not only did he score 20 points, he had 6 assists, 3 blocks and a steal. Riley samples chipped in with 8 points and 4 rebounds while Gabe Schaff ripped down 9 boards on the night.
12.5.20 KNIGHTS DEFENSE KEEPS PANTHERS IN CHECK
It was a much anticipated game to start the parkway mens hoop season. But it didn't go quite like the script the panthers had written. Taking on the Crestview knights right out of the gate was a tall task for any team. They returned 5 starters that were playing pretty good ball at the end of last season. Parkway has two returning starters and several newcomers to the varsity game. It was an even game in the first period of play as we finished it with a 13 all tie. The second quarter swung in the visitors favor, they employed a stiff defense that had the panthers helpless at times. Which enabled them to nearly double up their hosts in the scoring column. We headed to halftime with the knights in the lead, 33-24. With some adjustments the panthers could be right back in this game. Neither squad was lighting the scoreboard on fire in the third stanza. The game took on a sloppy and fast pace by both teams. The panthers could only muster 5 points, while the knights put up 13 to increase that advantage. It was a 17 point deficit for the black & gold, they had just one quarter to mount a charge. Parkway showed signs of a comeback midway through the period, but that faltered as Crestview got the hot hand. Parkway falls to 0-1 and will have to put that game behind them as they work on their game.