JENNINGS COUNTY — The Jennings County Panthers used a big second quarter to build a big lead and defeat Brownstown Central 75-66 on Friday night on their home floor.
It was a game that saw the Braves of Brownstown get off to a solid start before the Panthers got hot from deep.
Brownstown started the game with a strong defensive effort, really stifling the Panthers’ offensive attack.
Every starter for Brownstown scored in the first period, and Carter Waskom took a broken possession at the end of the quarter and sliced through the defense for a layup to give the Braves a 14-9 lead at the end of one.
But the second quarter was a completely different story.
Carter Kent played Superman ball for the Panthers, hitting four 3-pointers that sparked a 14-0 run by Jennings County.
Brownstown responded via Waskom drawing an and-one and making the free throw, and Parker Hehman drilled a 3-pointer in the corner to reel the deficit back in to just three at 23-20.
But Kent’s 3-point shooting became contagious. Jennings County hit eight shots from beyond the arc in the first half to take a 36-26 lead into the locker room. Kent led the Panthers with 14 points.
Jennings County was also blanketing Jack Benter, who made just one field goal in the first 16 minutes but made all six of his free throws to score eight points. Hehman also had eight points to lead the Braves at the break.
Carson Darlage and Aidan Schroer scored the first four points of the second half to cut into the lead, but Jennings County once again kept trading threes for twos to extend its lead.
The Panthers stretched their lead out to 15 at the end of the third quarter.
Both teams got into the bonus in the fourth quarter, so there was a lot of free throws being shot by both teams.
But the Braves did make a push in the final three minutes of the game. Benter made his first 3-pointer of the game, Waskom got into the paint for a layup, and then Waskom drove and dished off a nice pass to Darlage for a layup to cut the deficit to 67-61 with just under two minutes to play.
At that point, Brownstown had to play the foul game and hope Jennings County missed some. The Panthers shot 20-of-23 from the charity stripe, and it was too little too late for the Braves, losing by nine points.
Benter led the Braves with 23 points on the night, going 12-of-12 from the free-throw line. Waskom added 16 points and Darlage scored 12.
Kent led Jennings County 21 points, five of those coming from three. The Panthers made 13 3-pointers to Brownstown’s five, which was all the difference in the world as both teams made 21 field goals.
The second quarter was the big difference maker as Jennings County won that quarter 27-12 to improve the Panthers to 8-2 on the season.
Brownstown is also now 8-2 on the season after beginning the campaign 8-0.
The Braves will look to get back on track next Friday when they travel to Silver Creek for a Mid-Southern Conference matchup.