Wolverines fend off Panthers in four?OTs

WESTFIELD – In 29 years of coaching, Westfield coach Bob North has never seen his team play a four-overtime contest.

Until Thursday.

The Westfield Wolverines (8-7, 5-4) overcame a collapse in the fourth quarter to outduel the Panama Panthers (10-5, 6-4), 71-65, in CCAA West II boys high school basketball.

With a minute to play in regulation, the Wolverines watched their six-point lead vanish as the Panthers forced overtime with the score tied, 51-all.

The teams battled to a 58-58 deadlock after the first overtime and a 62-all tie after two overtimes. After three overtimes, the score was still tied, 65-all. However, the Wolverines finally put the game away in the fourth overtime, outscoring the visitors, 6-0, for the win.

“It’s two teams evenly matched,” North said. “We played them Tuesday at their place and they beat us by two points. They did it from beyond the arc Tuesday. We knew we had to guard the arc and they still made nine. We played pretty solid defensively and just lost track of some shooters.”

The Panthers made nine 3-pointers, led by Ricky Eddy’s five treys. Josh O’Dell hit three shots from beyond the arc and Dan O’Dell hit one.

The Panthers had the final shot at the end of regulation and the first two overtimes, but could not convert.

“The big thing is when we needed stops, we got them,” North said. “In the fourth overtime, we held them to zero. I think they ran out of gas. I have eight kids I can play on a regular basis and feel like I don’t have a drop off. It’s a good thing we were deep tonight.”

Westfield had four players score in double figures, led by Liam Tennies’ 15. Jessie Rodriguez had 13 points, Tanner Dahl added 12 and Jacob Gray finished with 11. Gray added six rebounds while Tennies had 10. Ty Bentham had a solid game with 11 rebounds and a solid defensive effort, according to North.

“He had a nice, solid game,” North said. “He did some nice things. He rebounded and played defense well. He is out there for defense and rebounding and he did his job.”

Eddy led all scorers with 16 points while Josh O’Dell had 15. Greg Delahoy had 10 points and as many boards in a losing effort.

Westfield is back in action tonight as it hosts Brocton.