Pinckneyville pounds A-J
Panthers force 23-turnovers, roll to 73-37 SIRR Mississippi Division victory

- The winning formula for the Pinckneyville Panthers has always been the same.

It begins and ends on the defensive end of the floor.

Friday night's 73-37 domination of Anna-Jonesboro was never in doubt at any time as Coach Bob Waggoner's Panthers put together a complete performance in improving to 7-1 on the season

Pinckneyville will head into their own holiday tournament next week following a lopsided win where nearly every player in uniform contributed in the SIRR Mississippi triumph.

"Our ball movement and our pressure on the ball was as good as what we’ve had all season," said Coach Waggoner. "We knew they liked to play zone and we moved the ball inside out. We didn’t take a lot of quick shots, but we took a lot of good shots."

Grant Jausel and JC Moll helped roll the Panthers to the win as those two set the tone early for Pinckneyville as they were nearly unstoppable.

Jausel, a 6-foot-1 junior forward, got to the basket repeatedly as he drove past A-J defenders while ending up with a game-high 18-points.

Neither Jausel or Moll scored in the fourth quarter as Coach Waggoner substituted freely in the second half.

Five-foot-ten junior guard Moll hit three 3-point shots on his way to 15-points in the win.

For the host Wildcats, they didn't have much good to “purr” about on this rainy night at home.

Coach Mike Chamness saw his club fall behind just moments into the game which got out of hand in the first quarter.

It would be tough to find something that A-J did well on this evening as they fell to 4-7 overall and 0-3 in the league.

Pinckneyville was so dominant on the night that they didn't allow any A-J players to reach double-digits in scoring.

Junior Sheldon McGrath scored eight-points for the Wildcats, who were held to just 11 total field goals in the game, with three of them being 3-pointers.

“I thought that their physicality really showed tonight and I thought they did a really good job on Parr. They stayed between him and the basket,” said Coach Chamness. “I don't think he took any bad shots, I just thought every shot he took was contested.”

With Jausel scoring five early points, including a score in the lane while being fouled that turned into a three-point play, the Panthers took command.

The next time down the floor, Moll canned his first long shot of the game.

Consecutive buckets by senior Tyler Rulevish and Moll pushed the lead to 14-4.

Moll made a steal and his fast break forced Coach Chamness to use his first of three timeouts in the opening half.

The junior guard extended the Panthers' lead with back-to-back 3-point bombs, one from each corner (right and left) which pushed the spread to 22-6.

“They hit some shots, especially in the first quarter. Moll hit a couple of shots in the corner and made us play man. They just kind of sliced us up,” said Coach Chamness. “They beat us, they were better than us tonight. We talked all week about handling their pressure to where it didn't take us out of what we wanted to do. But that is exactly what did.”

Jausel added his first 3-pointer and a couple of baskets on drives to the goal closed the half for Pinckneyville.

Jausel drove down the middle for a basket and, while holding for the final shot of the half, junior Kyle Luke drove the baseline after getting open for a lay in just before the buzzer for a 31-14 lead at intermission.

While some teams may have suffered a let down with that large of a lead heading into the second half, the Panthers swooped in for the kill in the third quarter.

An 8-2 sprint with a pair of fast break baskets by Moll and freshman Dawson Yates made it 37-16.

Then Jausel tossed in eight more points, a 3-pointer, a conventional three-point play and then another drive down the middle of the lane.

His lay in with 1:42 left in the third made it 49-25.

By the end of the third quarter, Anna-Jonesboro had 19-turnovers as they trailed 55-30.

Even the Panthers' reserves got into the act, with Devin Kitchen coming off the bench for a 3-pointer and a pair of baseline scores for seven-points.

A-J concluded the contest with 23-turnovers.

The Panthers finished 30-of-59 from the floor (50.8 percent) and only had six turnovers.

A-J was just 11-of-35 overall (31.4 percent).

The Wildcats held a slight rebounding edge (24-22) but that is misleading considering the turnovers kept them from attempting as many shots as the Panthers did.

"We executed and got on the glass," Waggoner said. "Our offensive rebounding was pretty good for second chance opportunities. We pushed the ball well in transition and not let them set up their zone. We basically used our defensive pressure to wear them down."

Anna-Jonesboro will play Union County (KY.) on Monday morning at 8:30 am in the first game of the Eldorado Holiday Tournament.

Pinckneyville hosts its annual tournament where they will face Roxana and Trico on Tuesday in their pool.

The Roxana game will be at 9 am and the Trico contest will be at 7 pm.

Pinckneyville (73) – Kreger 1 0 0-0 2, Moll 3 3 0-0 15, Clark 1 0 0-0 2, Yates 1 0 0-0 2, Luke 3 0 3-3 9, Louis 1 0 0-0 2, Rice 1 0 0-0 2, Rulevish 3 0 0-0 6, Jausel 5 2 2-2 18, Kurtz 1 0 1-1 3, Houghland 1 0 0-0 2, Kitchen 2 1 0-0 7, Howard 1 0 1-2 3, Brueggemann 0 0 0-0 0, Bartnicki 0 0 0-0 0.
2FG-24, 3FG-6, FT-7-8, PF-16.

Anna-Jonesboro (37)
- Tyler 0 0 0-0 0, Ross 0 1 0-0 3, McGrath 2 1 1-3 8, Zimmerman 0 0 1-2 1, Reynolds 1 1 0-0 5, Parr 3 0 0-0 6, Markovic 3 0 0-0 6, Gillis 0 0 6-8 6, Hill 0 0 0-2 0, Sawyer 1 0 2-2 4.
2FG-8, 3FG-3, FT-12-19, PF-8.

Fouled Out
– None.
Technical Fouls
– None.