The Smiths Station varsity boys’ basketball team played a lot of games over the Thanksgiving holiday. The Panthers had their first home game of the season on Nov. 22 and got started on a good note with a 52-41 victory over Benjamin Russell High School. The next night the Panthers hit the road to Birmingham to play games on Nov. 23, 25, and 26 in the Bellinis Shell Jag Classic Tournament, winning one out of three games. After previous week Smiths Station holds a 2-3 record.
During the Benjamin Russell game the Panthers were led in scoring by junior forward Viczavious Madden with 19 points; eight field goals and 3 for 4 in free throws. Right behind Madden in scoring was junior guard Donovan Pearman with 12 points; five field goals and 2 for 9 in free throws. The Panther defense held Benjamin Russell’s offense under double digits in two periods, four points in the first period and nine points in the fourth period. Xavier Stows was the only Benjamin Russell player to have double digit scoring with 13 points.
“You want to protect your home court to get a win at home,” Coach Steven Davis said of his team’s effort. “I think the kids played hard, especially to bounce back after losing on the road to Prattville.”
The following night the Panthers took on the host team Spain Park High School in the Bellinis Shell Jag Classic which would result in a losing effort 62-50. The Panthers hung around with Spain Park the whole game except in the third period where they were outscored 16-7. Trying to overcome a 50-32 deficit at the start of the fourth period the Panthers outscored Spain Park 18-12 but they ran out of time. Junior guard Donovan Pearman had a huge opening game scoring 25 points; seven field goals, three three-pointers and was 2 for 5 in free throws.
Two days later Smiths Station found the win column in the tournament with a victory over Holt High School 51-43. The fourth period momentum carried over in this game as well, the Panthers outscored Holt 21-10. Pearman led the scoring once again with 17 points on the night, six field goals and was 5 for 6 in free throws. Two points behind him was Viczavious Madden with 15 points, with four field goals and was 7 for 10 in free throws.
For the last game of the tournament, Smiths Station came up short 68-59 to Gardendale High School. The Panthers found themselves in a hole being down 40-23 at the half. The Panthers controlled the second half of the game by scoring 15-10 in the third period and 21-18 in the fourth period but was too far behind to catch up. Scoring leaders in this game was sophomore forward Ahmari Peabody who had 18 points; four field goals, two three pointers, and was 4 for 6 in free throws. Donovan Pearman finished out his strong tournament performance with 16 points; four field goals, two three pointers, and was 2 for 4 in free throws.
Finishing 1-2 in the tournament was a positive note for the boy’s team because the Birmingham area teams play a different style of basketball than the East Alabama teams do, with which they are more familiar.
“I like to play Birmingham teams to give us a different look and to make us a better basketball team,” Davis said.
The next couple of games for the Panthers are on Dec. 2 against Valley High School, Dec. 3 against Opelika High School at home in Smiths Station and finally they will be back on the road on Dec. 6 to take on Beauregard High School in Beauregard.