The Alba-Golden Panthers played one of their best games of the season last Tuesday at the right time defeating the Sunnyvale Raiders in bi-district round 65-47. After taking a 36-31 lead at the half, senior forward Dyllon Shuttlesworth took over in the third quarter scoring 10 of his game-high 23 points that ultimately made the difference.
Alba-Golden used strong pressure defense to combat the speed of Sunnyvale. With the exception of one two-minute stretch in the second quarter, the Sunnyvale press did not slow down the Panthers. With the Panthers leading 25-18, Sunnyvale forced three consecutive turnovers as them went on a 9-0 run to take a 27-25 lead. However the Panthers regrouped and broke the press the rest of the contest.
The first quarter was a back-and-forth affair, but the Panthers’ Shawn Davis brought the Alba-Golden crowd to its feet hitting a long three-point shot at the buzzer at the end of the quarter and gave the Panthers a 17-16 advantage.
Davis got the second quarter started hitting another triple at the 6:38 mark to put the Panthers ahead 20-16. The Panthers extended their lead going up 24-18 on an offensive rebound put back by Jon Michael Chadwick. Sunnyvale fought back to go up 27-25 behind the play of Brian Perry who had 19 points in the contest. Shuttlesworth brought the Panthers back getting a three-pointer the old fashioned way to put Alba-Golden up 28-27. Perry hit a shot for Sunnyvale giving the Raiders a 29-28 lead.
The Panthers’ Tom Mitchell made a free throw with two minutes to go in the first half to give Alba-Golden a 30-29 lead as the Panthers kept the lead the rest of the game. Mitchell had a pair of free throws at the end of the half to give the Panthers a 36-31 lead at intermission.
The Panthers got the second half started with a triple and a short jump shot by Shuttlesworth giving them a 41-31 lead the Raiders could not overcome. Davis hit a free throw with 10 seconds to go in the quarter. He then got a steal and converted a long triple as the buzzer sounded to end the third quarter giving Alba-Golden a 51-41 lead going into the final stanza.
Despite the Panthers’ Mike Hartin fouling out with 6:28 left in the game and Mitchell suffering the same fate less than a minute later, Alba-Golden was unfazed using a strong defense and an 8-13 final quarter on free throws to subdue the Raiders and taking the 65-47 victory. The Panthers outscored the Raiders 14-6 in the final eight minutes.
Shuttlesworth and Davis were the big guns offensively for Alba-Golden as Shuttlesworth finished with 23 and Davis added 17. Zane Smith also had a solid game with 10 points, and Chadwick scored six.