Runnin’ Panthers blowout Hyde Park, Wimberley

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By Keith Sparks

The Runnin’ Panthers ended their non-district schedule on a high note Tuesday night, beating Hyde Park in an away game by a final score of 89-53. The blowout win over Hyde Park was their second blowout win in a row after beating Wimberley last Friday night by a final score of 65-40.

After a tough Whataburger Tournament in Fort Worth the previous weekend, the Panthers needed to get back in a groove before district play. According to Head Coach Barry Boren, one of the biggest advantages over the final two non-district games was being able to play everybody on the roster significant minutes.

“Everybody got to play, so that was a good thing,” Boren said. “We got to play everybody. Our bench got to play an extended period of time. Kadin Knight scored 13 points off the bench, so that was a good deal.”

By getting his bench unit valuable minutes in a win, Boren hopes to improve the Runnin’ Panthers depth, instilling confidence in those that don’t typically play as many minutes, especially the underclassmen.

“We just want to get the guys that haven’t played, we want to get them some minutes to try to create some depth,” Boren said.

Another positive aspect of the Panthers’ win over Hyde Park on Tuesday was getting back on track in regards to free throw shooting, which they’ve done a fantastic job of this season, but struggled with during the holidays.

“Our free throw percentage went down 10 points over the break, but last night we hit 21 out of 25 free throws, so that was a big positive that came out of it,” Boren said.

Carson Perkins led the Panthers offensively over Hyde Park with a team-high 14 points, followed by Knight with 13 and Parker McCurdy and Kaleb Bannon with 12 each. Every player on the roster not only played for the Panthers, but scored at least four points, as well.

Against Wimberley at home Friday night, the Panthers struggled to shoot the ball, but came out with a relatively easy win nonetheless, taking a 38-19 lead into halftime and holding on to that lead throughout the second half.

The Panthers were led by Perkins once again with 19 points and three three-pointers. McCurdy added 15 and three three-pointers, as well, as the only other Panther in double figures.

Liberty Hill now holds a 19-5 overall record headed into district play. They’ll open district play with a home game against Salado on Friday at 7:30 p.m., followed by another district game against Eastside Memorial the following Tuesday at home once again at 7:30 p.m.

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