Flying G’s too much for SSC
GLADWIN — On one hand, if Standish-Sterling had had a better night at the free throw line, the Panthers may not have found themselves on the wrong end of a 65-43 score at Gladwin on Tuesday.
Still, SSC coach Tom Murray saw plenty of areas his team needed to improve, while the Flying G's showed why they should be considered the favorite to win next month's district tournament.
"They're a quality team, and we didn't defend them very well," Murray said. "But the free throws were crushing. We can't shoot like that and expect to beat a good team."
Gladwin opened up a 16-10 lead in the first quarter behind the outside shooting of Chris Smalley and James Hang and the inside play of undersized but effective center Cody French.
That lead ballooned to 37-22 at the half, but the game was competed on a much more level court than that save for one thing: Gladwin hit all 11 of its free throws in the first half, while the Panthers were just 2-of-10, including the front end of a 1-and-1.
SSC opened the second half with a short Adam Gulvas jumper, but also missed four free throws on its other two possessions, so instead of being in the game they never got any closer than 13 points the rest of the way.
"We got some good shots that we missed and had a few too many turnovers," Murray said. "We need to get better. But we still have a number of guys playing their first and second games at new positions (thanks to injuries), and Gladwin has some good third and fourth-year players.
"We'll just keep plugging away and see where we are (at district tournament time)."
Smalley finished with 17 points, Hang added 15 and French had 12 for the Flying G's (10-3).
Mark Lorence scored 13 and Trevor Karbowski nine for the Panthers (8-5), who travel to Ogemaw Heights on Friday, Feb. 13.