ELWOOD — In two games that couldn't have been more different, the Elwood Panthers swept conference foe and county rival Alexandria in a girls/boys double-header here Friday night.
The Panthers boys fell behind early and caught up late in a 64-58 win. Elwood's girls blew out to an early big lead and never let up in a 61-28 triumph.
For the Elwood boys, the key element was a change in defense. The Panthers used a trapping defense against the Tigers smaller guards. Those guards held the ball a bit too long and were forced into turnovers. Even when the trap was broken, some of the Tigers were unwilling to take wide open 8-foot shots, preferring to dish outside for long-range bombs.
Alexandria shot 29 of its 52 field goal attempts from beyond the arc and hit just nine. The Tigers hit 14-of-23 from inside.
The Panthers caught up when Griffin Hughes scored from under the hoop with 6:41 left in the game to deadlock the score at 44-44. The two teams traded periods in the lead until just under a minute remained when Jared Bourff stopped to the forefront.
Bourff hit a 3-point to break a 54-54 deadlock and he followed that with a pair of free throws for a 59-54 advantage with 53.9 seconds left. Alexandria never again was able to pull even.
Bourff led all scorers with 30 points, hitting 7-of-13 field goals and all but two of his 14 free throws. London Leavell followed with 13 points and Dakin Updegraff tossed in 11.
The Tigers won the rebound battle 30-21 but tossed away some of that advantage with 14 turnovers to 10 for Elwood. The Panthers had no errors in the final period.
Braden Warren topped the visitors in scoring with 14 points followed by Layton Carroll and Blaize Kelly with 12 apiece.The Tigers drop to 5-7 and the Panthers improve to 5-6.