Stillwater News Press

February 19, 2014

Press Box Views: Panthers should return to state

By Andrew Glover
Stillwater News Press

STILLWATER, Okla. — The Glencoe Panthers had a magical season last year, claiming the Class A state title and are well on their way to another.

The Panthers enter Thursday’s game against Riverfield Country Day School with a 23-0 record. Most of those games, Glencoe wasn’t challenged. Pawnee, which is ranked No. 6 in Class 2A, came the closest, losing by six twice.

What makes Glencoe so tough to beat? For starters it has several offensive weapons and it starts with Ty and Jake Lazenby. Both players score more than 20 points on most nights. Ty Lazenby is the reigning state tournament MVP. If a team’s gameplan is to limit one of the Lazenbys, who are you going to leave open? J.K. Hadlock and Sean Smith can both hit the outside shot. Andrew Kuhn has been a strong body in the post, getting second-chance scoring opportunities.

The other obstacle Glencoe opponents face is the Panthers’ defensive pressure. Glencoe’s  press defense forces the opposition to make quick decisions, which can lead to mistakes and easy baskets for the Panthers.

Riverfield Country Day enters Thursday’s game with a 16-4 record but is yet to play anyone ranked. The Panthers have beaten three ranked opponents including one in the top 10 twice. Crossings Christian is barely above .500. Glencoe has already beaten Frontier three times by more than 50 points.

The first real challenge Glencoe will have is in the area championship against No. 7 Pond Creek-Hunter. Even then the Panthers should rise to the challenge.