The Greenville men’s basketball team went on a three-day-long trip to Cleveland, Ohio for their first official basketball games of the 2019-2020 season. The team had an eight-hour bus ride to Cleveland leaving on Thursday afternoon. So far the men’s basketball team has only had scrimmages, either at home or away like their previous Canada trip. However, these games were a little more important because they counted on the record as official season games. The tournament was the Case Western Tournament hosted by Case Western Reserve University.
The first game, the Panthers faced Centre College of Danville, Kentucky. This was a great game due to the high skill level of both teams. Centre University is a big team that played at a slow pace and tried to take their time with every possession. Meanwhile, the Panthers and their “system” assumed their fast pace track meet style of basketball. The Panthers put up a great fight leading the game at half time 55-53. After a long battle, Centre ended up taking the win 113-132.
The following day, the Panthers got to experience the downtown sights and tastes of Cleveland! On Saturday morning, before their second game, the Panthers went to Chicago’s Home of Chicken and Waffles. This was not only a great team bonding time for the Panthers, but it also allowed them to experience the famous food in Cleveland. After breakfast, the team got to travel down to the Cavaliers Team Shop Sportswear Store, which was a two-level store full of NBA gear of the Cleveland Cavaliers. This was a great experience that allowed the Panthers to look at gear from professional NBA players and be surrounded by the love the city of Cleveland has for their Cavaliers.
It was back to business for the Panthers as they had their second and final game in the Case Western Tournament. The Panthers had played a very well-coached Central University from Iowa. The first half was not an easy one for the Panthers, after multiple lead changes, Central University ended the first half up 72-68. The Panther’s system never gives up, as the second half started, the panthers quickly began to come back taking the lead and holding on to it! As time wounded down and free throws were made, the Greenville Panthers finished the game with their first official win 145-140!
Senior Riley Simmons commented on the trip. “It was an eye-opening experience. We played two pretty good teams that are usually tournament teams. We dictated the pace in both games by playing our style and running the system. We played teams that will get us better and ready for conference games coming up as well as the rest of the season.”
Assistant Coach Stephen Groves said, “It was great to play two tough teams. While we didn’t win the first game, it was a good learning experience. The second game we did a great job not fouling and wore the other team down in the last 10 minutes.” This was a tough tournament with very good and talented teams in it. The panthers got to showcase their skills and get their name out there to be known that they are here to play hard and win.
The Panthers will be back in action November 22nd and 23rd at Carroll University.
To see the rest of the Panthers’ schedule, visit the link below.