PEEKSKILL, N.Y. – Walter Panas point guard Tim McCauley was not going to allow Peekskill to unnerve the Panthers Tuesday.
Peekskill surged to the lead late in the third, but McCauley halted it. He initiated an 18-2 run spanning the last minute of the third quarter and first four minutes of the fourth quarter, sending Panas to a 74-63 win over Peekskill in a Section 1 boys basketball game.
Panas coach Shawn Sullivan said it was the Panthers’ first win over Peekskill since 1996, when current Dallas Maverick Elton Brand played for the Red Devils.
“This win is awesome,” McCauley said. “The whole team was motivated coming into the game. We knew if we could win, it would be a statement win for us. We played good defense and we got the win.”
McCauley scored 15 of his 18 points in the second half. Vaughn Dweck carried Panas in the first half with 24 of his game-high 31 points.
McCauley, in his first varsity basketball season, was facing a swarming Peekskill defense and deafening home crowd, but he did not back down.
“I wanted the ball in my hands because I like getting all of my teammates involved and setting them up so they can knock down the shots,” McCauley said.
When McCauley was not feeding Dweck or Lylle Ryals or Jimmy Jackson, the point guard was taking the ball to the basket. Prior to the second half, Sullivan spoke to McCauley about becoming more assertive offensively.
“Coach wanted me to step up and he wanted me to take the ball to the basket and that’s what I did,” McCauley said.
After Peekskill took a 51-49 lead, McCauley dropped a floater in the lane. Following a Peekskill basket, McCauley went to the basket for a layup to even the score at 53-53. On Panas’ ensuing possession, McCauley assisted on a Lylle Ryals three-pointer that gave the Panthers the lead for good.