Panthers romp in regular season finale

NORTH VERNON — The Jennings County boys basketball team was in a hurry.

In just five minutes of Friday’s game against visiting Southwestern (Hanover), the Panthers had things pretty much decided with a 24-4 run.

After that, it turned into one, long Senior Night celebration.

The Panthers eventually capped off an 88-34 victory to finish their season at 11-11.

Jennings County sophomore Tyler Vogel led the way with 21 points and 10 rebounds.

“Our kids were very amped up tonight,” Jennings County coach Joe Hartwell said. “Our seniors played exceptionally well. Tyler Vogel also stepped up his game and it was an outstanding night for him.”

For Panther seniors Dan Leach, Ethan Jarvis, Lane Staples, Chace Wilson, Richard McNamee and Myles Harvey, it was their last time playing in front of their hometown fans.

“It was an emotional time for sure,” said Wilson, who finished with 17 points. “We went through everything together. I have been with these guys since elementary school. It’s been emotional. It has not sunk it yet, but it will.”

McNamee, who finished with 18 points, echoed his fellow senior’s remarks.

“It is unbelievable playing together with these guys for so long,” McNamee said. “It’s been real emotional and I can’t believe our time together is almost coming to an end. You couldn’t ask for better teammates than them.”

Leach would add another 12 points for the Panthers.

The Panthers utilized full-court pressure to start the game and the Rebels (2-21) could not find a way to break through it. Most of the points for the Panthers came from transition lay-ups after steals.

Jennings County put things so far out of reach, the play did get a bit sloppy at times. The Panthers’ aggressive play kept sending the Rebels to the line in the second quarter, but they struggled from there as well.

“We started to get a little bit sloppy there defensively on a few possessions,” Hartwell said. “Overall, the press was working for us most of the night and we got a lot of easy points off that.”

The Panthers now head to sectionals against Bedford North Lawrence Tuesday after winning their final two regular season games.

“It is a confidence builder heading into Tuesday,” Hartwell said. “It is on to Bedford and that is what I told them in the locker room after the game, focus on Bedford now.

“It is nice getting a couple of wins but those two (final regular season opponents) do not play like Bedford does.”