Coe nets 26 as Wolverines down?Panthers

By JOE ECKSTROM

OBSERVER Sports Reporter

WESTFIELD – The Westfield Wolverines (6-4, 3-0) used their size to their advantage as they rolled over the Pine Valley Panthers (2-7, 1-3) by 20 points with a 61-41 victory in CCAA Division 3 basketball action.

“At times we were settling for too many 3’s,” Westfield coach Bob North said. “When we were really playing well, we were penetrating gaps and getting the ball to the basket.”

After a few minutes of the opening period, Pine Valley had taken a 7-5 advantage.

However, it did not take long for Westfield to assert its dominance as it went on a 10-0 run over the next three minutes.

“We had trouble down low with the big boys,” Pine Valley coach Mark Mansfield said. “We weren’t shifting quick enough. We are still learning. As long as the effort is there, we are moving in the right direction.”

With 2:35 left in the first quarter, the home team led 15-7, but the Panthers would make a run of their own before the second quarter.

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Pine Valley scored five straight points which was highlighted by a Spencer Sticek trey to cut the Wolverines’ lead to 15-12.

The Panthers cut it to a one-point game with a bucket by Dan Weaver, but it was Jon Coe once again who led a rally for Westfield.

Coe hit back-to-back baskets, including one from behind the arc to put his team up, 20-14.

Pine Valley suffered from its offensive struggles in the second quarter as the high number of turnovers resulted in just four points in the period.

As a result, the Wolverines were able to take a 28-16 lead into halftime.

The third quarter started with a bang as Coe scored 11 straight points for the Wolverines to give the home team a commanding lead.

“Dan Tofil distributed the ball really well during the run we had,” North said. “Jon Coe may have had the points, but Tofil did all the little things for us today.”

Coe led all scorers with 26 points, six rebounds and five assists.

The 37-16 advantage was more than enough to secure the victory, but Pine Valley still put forth a great effort and saw some of its best basketball played in the third quarter.

The Panthers put in 13 points, six of those points coming from a pair of triples from Sticek, with a big reason being Pine Valley’s new found ability to move the ball with ease.

“We preach ball movement,” Mansfield said. “It’s the only way to beat the zone, but another problem is that we have to make the shots. Sticek did shoot the ball well for us tonight though.”

Sticek led the Panthers with 18 points on six three pointers, while Lucas Trombley had six points, 10 rebounds and six assists.

Dan Demarco and Jordan Ihm each had eight points for the Wolverines in the victory.