The Pioneers put on a dominant performance Monday night against the East Middle Panthers in the WCMS varsity season opener. The Panthers were not ready for the Pioneers and the offensive attack led the Pioneers to a 55-11 win.
WCMS was led by 6-foot-3 Micah Webster, who banged in 13 points and led all scorers. Webster shot 3-of-4 from the charity stripe.
The Pioneers scored early and often in the first quarter and had little resistance in passing the ball around the Panther defense. Jacob Lann worked the ball deep inside the defense and Cristian Espinoza put in work in the low post. Espinoza led the first quarter with eight points.
As the defense focused in the low post, Eli Jones was busy outside. Jones dialed up and connected twice on a pair of deep 3-balls.
A stifling defense led to turnovers by the Panthers and points in close were out of the question with Webster and Espinoza down low for WCMS.
East Middle used two timeouts in the first quarter and tried every possible angle to slow the Pioneer offense down, to little or no avail. At the end of the first quarter WCMS led 23-3 and the Panthers struggled to find answers.
WCMS did slow the pace in the second quarter and the Panther offense showed signs of life. Panther Sam Pierce scored all four of his points in the second quarter for East Middle.
Webster led the Pioneers in the second, all by free throws. The Panthers were not giving anything in close in the second period.
East Middle needed more offense to make a run for the lead. WCMS controlled the tempo and pushed the Panthers to keep up. The Pioneers were quicker to loose balls and WCMS controlled the glass on both ends. At the half, WCMS led 33-9.
WCMS came out of the half and its defense made a statement in the third quarter. The Pioneers held the Panthers scoreless throughout the quarter. Kaden Jordan and Micah Webster each dropped in a pair of baskets down deep in the paint.
Literally all paths that led to the basket for the Panthers were cut off in the third quarter. East Middle could not find a defense to slow the WCMS offense down and the Pioneers led 48-9 after three.
In the fourth quarter, East Middle just tried to weather the storm. Eli Buchanan and Brady Gross attacked the basket off Panther turnovers. East Middle hit double digits with 5:10 to play. Kyler Parker scored the only basket for East Middle and the Pioneers win their season opener on the road by a final score of 55-11.
WCMS will travel to Franklin South on Nov. 9 with the game scheduled for 6 p.m.
PIONEER SCORING - Micah Webster 13, Cristian Espinoza 10, Eli Jones 6, Kaden Jordan 6, Eli Buchanan 6, C.J. Taylor 5, Jerry Mrema 4, Carter Mansfield 2, Brady Gross 2
PANTHER SCORING – Sam Pierce 4, Justice Stamatis 3, Kyler Parker 2, Lucas Scott 2