Local Sports

March 7, 2013

Veteran Panthers shooting for first regional title

ROYAL CENTER — At this football-loving school, they’ve put Pioneer back on the map in basketball.

This year’s Pioneer’s boys basketball team consists of veteran players that have had a big hand in the Panthers winning four straight sectional titles. The Panthers had only won two sectionals previous to the current run.

The Class A No. 4 Panthers enter Saturday’s Triton Regional with a 20-3 record.

The Panthers rely heavily on their starting lineup that includes four seniors — Brandon Scruggs, Matthew Dorris, Mitchell Williams and Stephen Whitlock. The only underclassman that sees significant time is sophomore Carter Skaggs, the coach’s son.

The Panthers have good size for a small school with Dorris at 6-3, Williams at 6-4 and Skaggs at 6-5.

Scruggs, a 6-1 point guard, has been on fire of late and solid all season. He was recently named the Midwest Conference Player of the Year.

He also could have been named the MVP of last week’s West Central Sectional, where he averaged 24.3 points in three lopsided wins. He had a classic performance knocking down shots from all over the court for a career-high 36 points in a 67-44 win over Caston to get the Panthers’ tournament run off to a roaring start.

Scruggs is averaging 15.2 points and 7 assists per game this season.

Dorris, at 6-3, is a classic small-school Indiana high school post player that plays bigger than his size. He’s posted up 12 points and 6 rebounds per game this season. A solid all-around athlete, he’s also a standout football player and sprinter in track.

Williams is a glue guy for the team that does a little bit of everything for the Panthers. He’s averaging 7 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals per game.

Williams broke his wrist while playing quarterback for the Panthers, who coincidently also finished the regular season ranked No. 4 in Class A last fall. He had a quick return from the injury and is also shooting the ball well of late.

Whitlock is another football standout. He’s set to play college football as a linebacker at Division-II Indianapolis. The 5-11 forward is also a scrappy player on defense for the Panther boys basketball team.

Skaggs is the team’s leading scorer at 19 ppg. The 6-5 sophomore lefty has a quick release on his jump shot. A prolific bomber, he’s shooting 37 percent from 3-point range and has knocked down 57 treys on the season. He’s shooting 61 percent from 2 and is 73 of 80 from the foul line (91.3 percent).

Scruggs is the team’s leading 3-point shooter. He’s knocked down 58 on the season and is shooting 40 percent from beyond the arc. He’s shooting 50 percent from 2.

Dorris is shooting 60 percent from the field.

Seniors Tyler Beaupre and Alex Boonstra have been the Panthers’ first two players off the bench during the stretch run.

Coach Pat Skaggs is 4-for-4 in winning sectional titles at Pioneer. The Panthers are seeking their first regional win during that time.

The Panthers are the highest ranked team in this year’s regional field, but it’s once again a loaded field.

The Panthers face unranked Gary 21st Century (15-7) at 10:30 a.m. in the first semifinal on Saturday.

This is the second year that 21st Century, a charter school, has competed in the IHSAA Tournament. The Cougars knocked off No. 5 Kouts 56-49 last week in sectional play.

“They’re an extremely athletic team that has excellent guard play,” Pat Skaggs said. “They like to press both man and zone. We’re going to have to take really good care of the ball and make good decisions. We’ll have to play really smart to have a chance to compete this weekend.”

The Cougars have four players that average in double figures. They’re led by 6-5 senior Louis Brown’s 13.6 ppg and 8.9 rpg.

No. 10 Triton (17-5) and No. 13 Fort Wayne Canterbury (15-8) will meet in the later semifinal.

Triton is led by Valparaiso recruit Clay Yeo, who is averaging 26.8 ppg and 8 rpg.

Canterbury is the defending regional champion.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local Sports
  • SPT-PT041814 LHS Tennis.jpg Logan tops Lewis Cass in early season tennis match Logansport's girls tennis team defeated rival Lewis Cass 4-1 Thursday in Walton. The Berries improved to 2-1 on the young season while the Kings dropped to 0-1. Whitney Jennings defeated Gabi Hartley 6-0, 6-0 at No. 1 singles, Brooke Bullard defeated

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • No. 7 Lewis Cass baseball falls at HN, 3-2 Lewis Cass' baseball team suffered its first setback of the season with a 3-2 loss at Huntington North on Thursday. Kyle Dwiggins hit a two-run home run for the Class 2A No. 7 Kings (3-1) in the fourth inning. He later doubled. But the Vikings scored

    April 18, 2014

  • SPT-PT041714 - phs AOW Kayte Miller.jpg Miller looking for one more big season for the Panthers Pioneer senior Kayte Miller has enjoyed a lot of success in volleyball and softball during her four-year career. Miller has one more season of softball this spring with the Panthers before she will play the sport at Ancilla College next year. Miller

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPT-PT041714 - lhs baseball.jpg Logan baseball wins at Taylor, moves to 4-1 Logansport's baseball team held off a late Taylor rally for a 13-9 win Wednesday in Kokomo. The Berries (4-1) were one out away from winning by 10-run rule in the fifth inning before the Titans (1-1) extended the game with two runs to make it a 13-4

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Sports briefs, April 17 Logansport to honor Jennings on May 16 The Berry Boosters and Logansport High School are having a community celebration to honor and recognize the 2014 Indiana Miss Basketball, Indiana Gatorade Player of the Year and Parade All-American Whitney Jenni

    April 17, 2014

  • SPT-PT041614 - Nate Champion.jpg Champion caps Le Moyne career with run to NCAA Tourney

    For Nate Champion reaching the NCAA Tournament was always a major goal at Division-II Le Moyne University. Champion and the Dolphins reached that goal this season during his senior year. Champion said that when he and 6-foot-11 big man Jim Janson ent

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Sports briefs for Wednesday, April 16 Lewis Cass senior point guard Maci Maupin will continue her basketball career at the next level.

    April 16, 2014

  • SPL - PT041614 - Tom Lindley column - Lindley column sig We're all still watching Wildcats' Calipari After winning a big case and accepting compliments from his fellow attorneys, the man thanked his colleagues and responded that he really would have liked to represent the opposition. “I think I could have won arguing their side, too,” he told them.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Logan AD Fisher to retire Logansport athletic director Greg Fisher’s retirement request was approved by the Logansport Community School Corporation school board Monday.

    April 15, 2014

  • Sports briefs for Tuesday, April 15 Monday's inclement weather meant led to postponements of scheduled sporting events.

    April 15, 2014

Featured Ads
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
AP Video
Obama Hopeful on Ukraine, Will Watch Russians Flamingo Frenzy Ahead of Zoo Construction Crew Criticized Over Handling of Ferry Disaster Agreement Reached to Calm Ukraine Tensions Raw: Pope Francis Performs Pre-easter Ritual Raw: Bulgarian Monastery Dyes 5000 Easter Eggs Diplomats Reach Deal to Ease Tensions in Ukraine U.S. Sending Nonlethal Aid to Ukraine Military Holder: Americans Stand With KC Mourners Obama Greets Wounded Warriors Malaysia Plane: Ocean Floor Images 'Very Clear' Sparks Fly With Derulo and Jordin on New Album Franco Leads Star-studded Broadway Cast Raw: Two Lucky Kids Get Ride in Popemobile Boston Bombing Survivors One Year Later Sister of Slain MIT Officer Reflects on Bombing

Should e-cigarette marketing be regulated like tobacco?

     View Results

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.