“We were trying to speed the game up, and [Sanders] got through us time after time and got to the basket,” Pioneer coach Austin Cowley lamented. “[Hammel] is really strong and outplayed us underneath, and Sanders, we couldn’t keep him from penetrating.”
Caleb Kindley led the Panthers with 17 points. Sam Kiser scored 15. Zach Mason had seven, J.P. Smith and Brad Biggs added four apiece and Chad Clifford chipped in two.
“We’re just learning our identity right now,” Cowley said. “We’re really struggling shooting the ball from the outside. We did get two 3s but they were at the very end of the fourth quarter.
“This was really a setback. This was one we wanted to get. We led 19-11 at one point in the second quarter and they turned the tide.”
Pioneer will take to the road next weekend, traveling to Whiting Friday and Argos Saturday.
S. Newton 41, Pioneer 40
Kayte Miller scored a game-high 18 points for the Panthers but it wasn’t enough in a loss at South Newton in the first game of a girls-boys doubleheader.
Miller hit four 3-pointers in the contest. Brooklyn Mehrley added seven points for Pioneer (0-5, 0-1 MWC). Kennedy Nies had five points, Sadie Layman added four and Megan Smith and Abbie McKaig chipped in two apiece.
Courtney Deno had 14 points to lead the Rebels (5-3, 3-0).