Hunter wins battle of 'Tigers'

By Ivan Sanders

   An African safari hunter would have been in his heaven on Monday night at Hunter Elementary's gym as there were Tigers on the prowl and in tussles all over the place.
   In boys action, the Tigers of Hunter prevailed over Keenburg's Tigers by the score of 54-38 on Hunter's home floor, but the score was more deceiving than the actual outcome.
   Hunter managed to take a comfortable 26-12 lead into intermission, only to see Keenburg claw back in the game in the third quarter.
   "We played better defense tonight than in our first game," stated Hunter coach Mike Dorsey. "Our rebounding really improved tonight which was lacking in our game Wednesday."
   Hunter relied on that rebounding in a big way in the second half as they were battling for their lives as the scrappy Keenburg squad fought back to within three points, 33-30 with five minutes left in the contest.
   Keenburg sensed a chance to get even, but that was before Dorsey's squad went on a scoring spree to push the lead back to eight with four minutes left.
   From there, Hunter relied on some tough outside shooting to eventually edge the margin to 16 by game's end.
   "This was our first game and at times it seemed we lost our heads," stated Keenburg coach Scott Heaton. "We gave a good effort, it's just that we don't follow through with our game plan."
   Michael Carpenter and Jeff Wilson paced Hunter with 17 and 12 respectfully. Terry Campbell chipped in with eight while teammates Nick Papantoniou and Hunter Taylor added five points each.
   For Keenburg, Josh Moore showed the way with 12 points followed by Daniel Garner and Cody Marley adding seven and six points each. Fellow Tigers, Jordan Lambert with 5 and Johnny Glass with 4, were contributing factors in Keenburg's offense.
   Hunter evens it's season record at 1-1, while Keenburg dropped to 0-1 on the young season.
   The Hunter girls flexed their muscle and showed why they are a team to be contended with as Coach Tammy Taylor's club had 12 out of the 16 girls dressed get in the scoring column on the night.
   Taylor dressed four JV players and actually saw one of those girls pace the team in scoring on the evening. Andrea Lewis pumped in 10 points to lead the way for Hunter.
   "She has been working hard with Logan Wagenseller as well as coach Teresa Taylor," stated Taylor on the play of Lewis. "This was good experience for all our girls, so I tried to play all of them equal minutes in this game."
   Hunter's defense was stymieing in the first half as Keenburg didn't even get a whiff of a basket, being shut out 22-0 through the first half of play.
   With most of the starters showing leadership from the pine, several of Hunter's Lady Tigers managed to see what it was like to be in the heat of action.
   Keenburg wasn't shying away from the challenge as they played very physical basketball with Hunter, but just couldn't get enough of their shots to fall.
   "We don't mind a physical game because we practice physical basketball," stated Taylor. "Keenburg really has some promising girls on their team and they will be a good team when they come together."
   Brittney Nidiffer followed close behind Lewis with six points. Hunter also saw scoring from Sallee Taylor and Hollie Grindstaff with five each, Wagenseller and Danielle Buck with four each, and Emily Asher and Rachel Lowe with three each.
   Natasha Bunton paced Keenburg with eight points, while Jodie Jones and Jessica Trivette added two each and Connie Wright pitched in with one point.
   Keenburg also received an excellent defensive effort from Nanette and Nicole Manz, who showed no fear in mixing it up in the middle where the taller Hunter Lady Tigers roamed.