“They got cold from the outside, and we were transitioning well. I think we took the wind out of their sails quickly in the fourth quarter.”
Beverly hit three straight treys by Sinclair, Sam Traicoff (coming off the bench) and Cross to go ahead, 60-42, at the start of the final eight minutes. Cross then made two foul shots and Jonangel Franco hit a jumper for a 13-0 run and a commanding 22-point cushion for the hosts.
“That was the difference right there,” said Classical head coach Tom Grassa. “Their 3’s changed the game. We shot the ball well for 3’s last Friday (going 5-for-13), but today they weren’t going in.”
“We were able to run our sets and get open shots,” added Beverly’s Cross. “I got a couple of good screens and got in a groove.”
Lewis credits the Panther defense with winning the game. They put pressure on the Rams’ shooters and dominated the glass.
“We definitely won the game in the defensive end,” said Lewis. “Cross had a great game both on the boards and with his scoring. We felt we could get him down low and on the perimeter where he can shoot over people. He and Berchoff do a nice job setting each other up, but even with Burchoff sitting because of foul trouble we still were able to build the lead.”
Lewis went to his bench and got everybody into the game. Nine different Panthers figured in the scoring, and Gavin Sparkman was also a factor on the boards.