On Wednesday morning, the Newberry boy’s basketball team walked into class with their heads up high. After a thrilling comeback win Tuesday night against Fort White, better days seemed to be ahead for the Panthers. At 8-10, Patrick Green’s squad could still accomplish everything they had hoped for; a late-season push for the playoffs. With another game left of their homestand, excitement infected the air of Newberry High. However, this was no 4-11 Fort White team. The Panthers faced a far more formidable opponent.
This was the Eastside Rams.
At 12-7, the Eastside Rams came into Newberry and blew the Panthers out 69-43. All that hope of better days had seemed to diminish for the Panthers, now 8-11, with just so many opportunities left. However, all chances are relative, with some being greater than others. The Panthers have few of these critical opportunities left, with one coming up Monday night against Buchholz High.
A Must Win For Newberry
At 3-16, it’s safe to say there have been better years at Bucholz High School. Coach Robert Horodyski has a legacy of winning, with over 400 wins to his name during his time at the school. Yet, there isn’t much to be said about that winning legacy this year. Newberry takes the road Monday night to take on this Bobcat team. Taking on a much lesser opponent, Patrick Green will have to find a way to motivate his team to play their most exceptional basketball.
It’s safe to say that this is a must-win for Newberry. Taking on a 3-16 team, this is the most favored the Panthers will be down the stretch. When these two teams last met on January 7, Newberry triumphed with a 60-53 victory. Thus, the message is simple in the Panthers locker room…win.
So You Say There’s a Chance?
With a win Monday night, the Panthers move to 9-11. Down the stretch, they have a better record in four of their last five games, including the Buchholz game. At a 12-12 record, the Panthers season would somewhat be salvaged. It is unclear at this time if that would be good enough to move them into playoff contention. However, a .500 record with a relatively young team is nothing to scoff at for coach Patrick Green.
What to Watch For
By now, Perry Sylvester’s name echoes through the halls of Newberry. A heroic performance Tuesday night against Fort White shows that when he’s on, the team follows suit. The junior big man is averaging 10.2 points and 6.0 rebounds per game. If Newberry leaves Gainesville with a win, Sylvester will probably have left his mark on the gymnasium.
While the Panthers walked away with a W Tuesday against Fort White, there was one aspect of the team that was off. Sophomore Makhi Bostic was relatively quiet that night, yet his team still won. An odd night, as the guard is Newberry’s second-leading scorer averaging 12.2 points a game. Thus, it’s reasonable to deduce that if Makhi Bostic is on, the Panthers can win big.
How to Follow
The Newberry Panthers travel to face Buchholz at 6 pm on Monday. To follow along, follow @sampetosa5 on twitter for live commentary. Afterward, check ESPN Gainesville for a recap of the crosstown bout. Additionally, follow @352BHSbobcat for updates as well.