EastMont Upsets Blues

BARIS ESMEROGLU, one of two seniors honored by the Blues before last Tuesday’s home win over Bath County, dribbles the ball. Esmeroglu, a Turkish exchange student, scored five points, including a 3-pointer for PM’s last score of the game. (Ronnie Coffey photo)

BARIS ESMEROGLU, one of two seniors honored by the Blues before last Tuesday’s home win over Bath County, dribbles the ball. Esmeroglu, a Turkish exchange student, scored five points, including a 3-pointer for PM’s last score of the game. (Ronnie Coffey photo)

PM JUNIOR guard Will Dunlap goes up for a shot, on his way to a game-high 21 points against Bath. Dunlap also grabbed nine rebounds. (Ronnie Coffey photo)

PM JUNIOR guard Will Dunlap goes up for a shot, on his way to a game-high 21 points against Bath. Dunlap also grabbed nine rebounds. (Ronnie Coffey photo)

FIGHTING BLUE junior guard Talen Roberts makes a bounce pass to a teammate. (Ronnie Coffey photo)

FIGHTING BLUE junior guard Talen Roberts makes a bounce pass to a teammate. (Ronnie Coffey photo)

PM Boys Lose First District Game In Two Years

The Parry McCluer High School boys basketball team won two of three Pioneer District games in the final week of the regular season, cruising past Highland County and Bath County before falling at Eastern Montgomery for its lone district loss of the season. A day after clinching the

A day after clinching the regular-season district title, the Fighting Blues (16-5 overall, 11-1 district) rolled to a 71-39 home victory over Bath County on Tuesday of last week in Buena Vista. With the win, the Blues swept the season series with Bath and earned their ninth consecutive victory.

Before the game, PM honored its two seniors, Treveion St. Clair-Helm and Baris Esmeroglu. St. Clair-Helm made a perfect pass to Talen Roberts for the opening score of the game and Esmeroglu scored five points, including a 3-pointer for PM’s last score of the game. “I’m just really happy for

“I’m just really happy for those guys,” PM head coach Mike Cartolaro said. “They’ve been with us all year, so it was great to see them contribute.”

In all, the Blues had 10 players score on the night. Will Dunlap led all scorers with 21 points and nine rebounds. Meanwhile, John Snider added 12 points and Ryan Perry and Durham Baker each chipped in seven.

Connor Call led Bath County with 13 points, and Sean Flenner added 10.

“We came in wanting to focus on our rebounding,” Cartolaro said. “I’m really proud of our group and the way we’ve been playing, but we’ve still got some things to work on.”

PM dominated from the opening tip. Dunlap scored 13 points in the first period and the Blues raced out to a commanding 19-7 lead.

Perry’s 3-pointer extended the PM lead to 28-7 early in the second quarter before Bath went on a brief run. Call and Flenner scored 11 consecutive points and the Chargers cut the lead to 10, but that was the closest they got.

Roberts knocked down a three at the buzzer as PM took a 35-18 lead into halftime.

PM made six 3-pointers on the night and had an assist on 20 of their 27 field goals.

“We’ve been doing a great job of sharing the ball,” Cartolaro said. “We also shot it well tonight, so obviously when you do both of those things, it makes you hard to beat.”

Going into postseason play, Cartolaro said his team must be more physical. “In the playoffs, when the pressure is on, it’s more difficult to make shots,” he said. “That’s why we’ve got to be more physical on the boards and limit second-chance points.”

EM 44, PM 42

Eastern Montgomery snapped PM’s winning streak with a 44-42 victory in the regular-season finale in Elliston on Friday.

J.T. Foster scored the game-winning basket in the final seconds for the Mustangs (12-9, 7-5), who handed the Blues their first district loss in two years.

Dunlap totaled 19 points and 11 rebounds to lead PM. Roberts added 10 points for the Blues, whil Snider chipped in six points and Ethan Moore posted five. Adam Bahnken and Darion Moore scored nine points apiece for EM, and Foster finished with eight markers.

In a back-and-forth game, the Blues couldn’t find a way past the Mustangs. PM’s chances took a hit early, when second-leading scorer Spencer Hamilton left the game due to illness and didn’t return.

“It was one of those nights when most things didn’t go well for us. That’s part of playing,” said Cartolaro, whose team had already secured the Pioneer regular-season title. “I guess if there ever was a time for that to happen, it would be the last game [of the regular season] after we clinched the district.”

The PM coach also praised the Mustangs for raising their level of play. In the first meeting of the season between the two teams, PM flattened EM 60-21 in Buena Vista on Jan. 20.

“We didn’t do a very good job of handling the pressure,” Cartolaro said. “Give them credit: I thought they just outplayed us.”

PM 71, HC 27

PM locked up the district regular-season crown with a 71-27 victory over Highland County in Monterey on Monday of last week.

Dunlap poured in 29 points to lead the Blues to the lopsided win. PM took control of the game in the early stages, going ahead 20-7 by the end of the first quarter and assuming a 41-15 halftime advantage. The Blues shot the ball well throughout, finishing with an 8-of-12 clip from three-point range.

Hamilton contributed 15 points for PM, while Moore tallied 12 markers and Snider recorded nine points. Highland’s Ethan Moore led his team with 16 points, and Jake Johnsen added seven points for the Rams. By capturing the No. 1

By capturing the No. 1 seed in this week’s district tournament, PM earned a first-round bye. The Blues will play host to either fourthseeded Eastern Montgomery or fifth-seeded Bath County in the semifinal round at 6 p.m. tonight.

“It’s a second season now,” Cartolaro said. “Everyone gets a clean slate and we’re going to have to go out there and execute.”

For tournament updates, visit www.thenews-gazette. com.

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