Stillwater News Press

Sports Columns

March 11, 2014

Press Box Views: Panthers in great shape next season

STILLWATER, Okla. — On Saturday, the Glencoe Panthers had the perfect ending to their season with a 57-39 victory over the Kiowa Cowboys in the Class A state championship. The victory capped a 29-0 season and extended Glencoe’s winning streak to 33 games. With majority of their team returning, the Panthers have a good chance at three-peating next season.

For starters, the team’s leading scorer and two-time state tournament MVP Ty Lazenby is coming back. Lazenby is great at getting to the rim and has the ability to take over games. With his abilities Glencoe has a good chance at winning games.

Also returning is starting post Andrew Kuhn was a strong rebounder and at times contributed on the offensive end with cutbacks or being open when teams doubled Lazenby. Shooting guard J.K. Hadlock, who was a solid outside shooter. I think next season, he could become more of a threat in the inside.

The Panthers did lose a couple of key players that helped win the last two championships. Second leading scorer Jake Lazenby and starting point guard and defensive specialist Sean Smith. Last year, Glencoe had other players step up after they lost players and I think in 2014-15 won’t be any different.

Kuhn went from being a player that got minutes in mop-up time to being a starter. He was able to be the big body inside that Hunter Hall was two seasons ago. Hadlock took over the sharp shooting role of Kagen Castlebury. Next season, he could fill Jake Lazenby’s role as the second scorer behind Ty. Plus another Lazenby is coming up as Trey will be a freshman next season.

Smith’s role will be a key one for the Panthers to fill next season. This year, Smith was responsible for guarding the other team’s best player. I think Dylan Billingslea could step into this role. Though his only minutes were in mop-up time, Billingslea has contributed on the offensive end. On defense, Billingslea has a pretty good wing span, which can help deflect balls and get steals.

Like any other high school team, Glencoe will have key pieces depart. But they are in great shape to lift the gold ball at the end of the 2014-15 season.

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