Boys basketball: Lawmen lose to Career Panthers

Jonathan Law came out for its SCC home game with Career Magnet from New Haven with its motor running.

Coach Jamie Anderson’s Lawmen used that high energy to take a lead into the second quarter.

The game was tied at the half before the Panthers used an uptempo attack to unsettle the locals en route to a 53-43 victory on Wednesday night.

“Our guys came out with a game plan and played to it,” Anderson said after Law dipped to 6-9. “We wanted to take their bigs (Jalen Jones) out and close out on their shooters, which we did pretty well.

“We were able to slow the game a bit and the rebounding was too out of kilter. In the second half we played a little too quick. The tempo favored Career and they used it to their advantage.”

Law’s defense doubled down on Jones and forced him to give the ball back, where the guards stopped all drives to the hoop to frustrate head coach Larry Kelley’s Panthers (10-4).

Conor Creane scored five points in the opening canto, as the Lawmen took a 9-2 lead behind a

defensive stance that had the gym thundering.

Dean Pettway scored in transition off a fine pass from Sam Nassar, before Pettway’s diagonal pass found Creane for a 3-pointer.

Tyler McKenna-Hansen’s block of a shot on one end led to a breakaway basket by Creane and Kelley called for time down 9-2.

Garrett Tutlis’s reverse layup was the only points Law could muster in the final 2:45 of the quarter and Law took an 11-5 lead into the first break.

Unforced turnovers by the Lawmen slowed its ability to sustain an offense and fueled a run by the Panthers, who tied the game at 13. Creane’s three-point play and a drop-step bucket by McKenna-Hansen tied the game again at 20.

Diontae Eady scored off a nifty steal and the game went into the half deadlocked at 22.

Law scored on its first four field goals attempt in the third quarter, with Carl Maxwell, Nassar, Creane and McKenna-Hansen coming up with the buckets. Eady and Nassar had assists.

The Lawmen led 30-25 with four minutes remaining in the third quarter, when Career turned a mini-run into a flood of points.

Despite some great defense from Tutlis, the Panthers rallied to take a 35-32 lead into the final eight minutes.

Career’s Jones was a handful in the lane, as the 6-foot-5 junior center showed off his skill set with smooth moves and a deft left-handed touch. He finished with 29 points, 12 coming in the final period.

Two Eady free throws were all Law could muster in its final eight possessions in the third quarter against a tough defense.

Career pushed the tempo in the final period and Law’s offense was quick to shoot and missed nine shots to open the stanza.

Creane (16 points) had two freebies to make it 41-33 with 2:41 to go and Nassar (10 points) nailed a trey with 2:20 left to bring the deficit to 44-37.

But, Career’s Kyle Daniels was money from the line in the final two minutes.